Man charged with using knife and vehicle as weapons in two counties appears in court

A man convicted of aggravated assault in Marion County in July last year has now being charged with the same crime in Baxter County.

Twenty-seven-year-old Matthew Karl Butler, who lists a Fayetteville address, appeared in Baxter County Circuit Court Monday. He is charged with aggravated assault and criminal mischief.

When asked if he had made arrangements for legal representation, Butler said he did not want a public defender. He told the court he wanted to hire a lawyer or represent himself.

Butler’s mother appeared and told Circuit Judge John Putman that her son was dealing with serious mental issues.

She said he had been a chemical engineering student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville when he was beaten up by what she described as a “drunk scumbag.”

The mother said she had been trying to arrange treatment for her son.

Judge Putman said he sympathized because Arkansas doesn’t have readily available mental health facilities.

He ordered that Butler be given a psychological examination and said officials would work to try and find a treatment facility so Butler could get the help he needs.

Butler has been vague about whether he would obtain an attorney or represent himself. Judge Putman said he had a right to defend himself, but needed to be represented. “These are some serious charges,” Putman said.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Butler was arrested December 10 last year when Baxter County sheriff’s deputies were called to an address along Weyhmeyer Loop.

As the deputies were responding, it was reported that the situation was escalating. Butler was reported to be armed with a knife and to have attempted to hit a relative with his vehicle.

The vehicle had been disabled and Butler was reported to have left the scene on foot.

A deputy made contact with Butler who was said to have blood on his hands.

In both the Baxter and Marion County cases, Butler had used a knife and his vehicle as weapons, according to the probable cause affidavits.

A domestic situation involving a child has been the reported cause of both violent events.

Butler and a woman with whom he was in a relationship are the parents of a 2-year-old female.

The was at the residence of a relative on Weyhmeyer Loop when Butler indicated he intended to take his daughter with him. Other relatives were called in to prevent the removal and that resulted in Butler becoming even more upset.

At one point, Butler is alleged to have drawn a knife and made threats, then switched to a baseball bat.

He is reported to have gotten into his vehicle, accelerated to a high rate of speed and swerved to hit a relative. He lost control of the vehicle and it smashed into property on the lawn of the residence.

Butler’s sister said he had not slept for three days at the time of the incident.

MARION COUNTY CHARGES

Butler was also accused of using his vehicle and a knife to threaten people at a residence along Summit Avenue in Bull Shoals in early February 2020.

The new incident in Baxter County has triggered the filing of a petition to revoke Butler’s 48 month probation sentence handed down in the 2020 Marion County case.

An officer from the Bull Shoals Police Department was called to the address about 10:30 p.m. to respond to the situation.

A number of people were in the front yard of the residence and they reported the suspect had fled toward State Highway 178.

Flippin police, who were assisting with the call, encountered the suspect’s vehicle and notified the Bull Shoals officer that it could be on Cardinal Terrace.

The Bull Shoals officer arrived at the scene and removed Butler from the car at gunpoint.

During a search of the vehicle, drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana were found.

In addition, ammunition for a 9 mm pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun was found to be in the car.

Butler denied that a firearm had been involved in the incident on Summit Avenue. He said his weapons had been seized after a previous arrest for simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.

He did admit to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol several hours prior to the incident.

When the Bull Shoals officer returned to the scene, he spoke to witnesses who said they had seen Butler’s car in the neighborhood.

A couple identified as the parents of the woman with whom Butler had a child told officers Butler had tried on multiple occasions to ram their car and run them down in the driveway.

They said at one point, Butler pulled into a neighbor’s driveway, exited his car and pointed a black object at them that they believed was a handgun. It was later determined to have been a knife.

The mother of Butler’s child said she was in fear for her life and the lives of her children. She said Butler had been served with an order of protection to keep him away from her and the children.

When he talked to police, Butler said he had been served with the order of protection earlier that evening and had been angered by what he termed the untrue allegations the woman had made in the accompanying affidavit regarding his behavior.

Butler said when he left a residence in Flippin where he had been living in his vehicle he did not intend to go to Bull Shoals. He said he “ended up there” and was chased away by the former girlfriend’s parents. He denied trying to run over anyone or pointing a knife at anyone during the incident.

Butler was convicted on charges, including aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance and violation of the order of protection in force at the time of the incident.

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