Matthew Butcher's Pot Shop Murder Earns 1st-Degree Convictions

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Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM
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It was a murder that put pot shop crime on the front page and had a prominent L.A. family mourning the death of a son. The case even made the TV show America's Most Wanted.

See also: America's Most Wanted' Subject Raymond Lemone Easter Arrested.

On June 24, 2010, Daniel Deshawn Hinton, 35, and Raymond Lemone Easter, 31, robbed The Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in Echo Park with guns blazing and murdered a worker there, Matthew Butcher, prosecutors said.

This week the two were convicted:

The L.A. County District Attorney's office tells us the two were found guilty of first-degree murder, homicide during the course of a robbery, and premeditated attempted murder.

The jury found that Easter opened fire on 27-year-old Butcher and that Hinton displayed a gun, the D.A.'s office says.

Judge Stephen Marcus presided over the case and deputy District Attorney Deborah Brazil prosecuted.

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Butcher's family said in a statement that the jury took only "a short amount of time" before coming to its conclusion during deliberation.

Because the law is strict in cases like this, the two will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole Jan. 10, prosecutors say.

Butcher was the son of Julie Butcher, a city labor leader who's regional director of Service Employees International Union Local 721.

Here's what she stated after Tuesday's verdict:

... After three weeks of trial, the jury decided quickly. Each of them called out loudly, proudly: "Guilty!" I met them at the elevator, stopping the jurors to thank them, to hug them. One held me and murmured: It was our pleasure.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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