WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A suspect in the murder of a young West Jordan couple told police he shot and killed them because they recognized him after he had robbed them.
Albert Enoch Johnson was charged in 3rd District Court on Wednesday with two counts first-degree aggravated murder, two counts first-degree felony aggravated robbery and two counts first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping in the deaths of Tony and Katherine Butterfield.
The Butterfields were found shot to death at their home in West Jordan after police responded to their home near 3300 West 6920 South on April 18 on a report of gun shots and a woman screaming. When police arrived, they located Tony Butterfield’s body in the backyard and his wife, Katherine Butterfield’s body inside the home. The couples three young children, ages 6 months, 2 and 4 years old, were inside the home unharmed.
Blood collected at the home led them to their suspect, Johnson, who had been stabbed during the altercation with the Butterfields. Police found a shot gun and cash at his home as well as his clothing he wore the morning of the shootings were found inside a dumpster.
Johnson had fled to California after the murders.
Sergeant J.C. Holt of the West Jordan Police Department said tips led U.S. Marshals to a location in Stockton, California where they took him into custody. Johnson’s booking photo shows him with a swollen right eye and scrapes on his face as result of a struggle with Marshals.
During an interview with police, Johnson admitted to killing the couple, and said he went to their home to rob them because they believed they had money and he was hurting for cash. When he arrived, he covered his face with a mask and kicked in the door.
Johnson further stated he told Tony Butterfield he only wanted money and then left the home with $20.00 and two cell phones. When he got to his car, he took off the mask then realized he had left his keys inside the home. He returned to the home and Tony Butterfield was standing inside of the door and recognized him, documents state.
Johnson said Tony Butterfield then asked him “why?” then started to stab him to prevent him from coming back into the home. Johnson told police the stab wounds hurt so he shot Tony Butterfield. When Katherine Butterfield started screaming, Johnson said he thought he saw a neighbor nearby so he shot her too, according to documents.
Johnson said he got his keys and then fled to his apartment in West Jordan where he changed clothes and left for California.
Police were able to find surveillance footage inside the home of the Butterfields where is showed Johnson enter the upstairs of the home and force the Butterfields downstairs and demanding money.
Documents further state Johnson is a convicted felon out of California for aggravated battery causing serious bodily injury.
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