Reserve man gets 23 years in prison

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Butler brutally murdered in 2004 incident


Staff Reporter

RESERVE – A LaPlace man was sentenced Monday for his involvement in a gruesome 2004 murder where the victim was brutally beaten and later shot.

Dauren Howard, 21, 612 Revere Dr., LaPlace received an amended sentence of 23 years hard labor after a pre-trial plea agreement where prosecutors reduced the charges against him to manslaughter.

Howard was originally charged with the first-degree murder of Jerry Butler, who was brutally beaten by five men and shot in the head after a November 2004 altercation at the home of Denyen Gaines and Frank Williamson, two of the eight men charged in the incident.

According to court documents, on November 6, 2004, Butler entered the home of Gaines and Williamson and proceeded to argue with them, along with Howard, Kevin Campbell, and Ryan Triche over possession of a handgun. It goes on to say Butler left the home, and the men chased after him in a car driven by Triche.

When Butler returned to the home the next night to collect some of his possessions, the men beat him severely and shoved him into the trunk of a car. The men drove Butler out to the levee near the intersection of 17th Street and River Road in Reserve and shot him, leaving his body in the grass behind the levee.

Police said Butler’s body was found three days later by a passerby walking along the levee. Howard and the four others later confessed their involvement to detectives investigating the incident.

Although she accepted the ruling laid down by the judges in the case, the mother of Butler was ultimately not happy with the amended sentence.

&#8220I accept the plea, in that justice was served,” said Butler’s mother, who wished not to reveal her name. &#8220I still don’t exactly know what happened to my son. I would have liked to see the case go to trial.”