Brandan Butler

Brandan Butler

BENTON, La. – A man accused of killing two Bossier City women almost five years ago will spend the rest of his life in prison.

District Judge Mike Nerren convicted Brandan Butler on two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 26-year-old Karyle Cox and 24-year-old Jacqueline Beadle. The two were killed in a Bossier City home on Mother’s Day in 2014.

Jacqueline Beadle's mother found the bodies at a home on Bragg Street on the morning of  May 11, 2014. She had gone to there to check on her daughter after not seeing her for two days.

Police say Butler, who was friends with the women, allegedly shot them and drove away in Cox's car. Police later found it parked in the 4800 block of Sheryl Street in Bossier.

Nerren was the sole decider of Butler’s fate since he opted for a trial by judge. His trial began March 11 in Bossier District Court. He'll be sentenced May 28. 

Butler could have faced the death sentence as one of the options; however, the prosecution in February agreed to waive that and a trial by jury. But Butler was still represented by two attorneys with the Baton Rouge Capital Conflict Office.

Butler’s defense maintained the evidence didn’t support a guilty verdict because the exact time of death of Beadle and Cox could not be determined. Nerren disagreed with that argument.

Beadle was found on the bedroom floor with several stab wounds and a gunshot wound to the forehead. Box was found in another bedroom with four gunshot wounds, one of those also being to the forehead.

At trial, fingerprint experts put Butler at the scene of the crime. A detective also testified that Butler showed up at the house after their investigation began but before he was identified as a suspect.

Butler was interviewed a few days later and denied being in the home. During follow-up questioned when he was confronted about the bloody fingerprints, he concocted a story of assisting Beadle through a bedroom window, then she fell and suffered a bloody nose.

Witnesses provided by Butler didn’t corroborate his story.

The state presented “significant evidence” that tied Butler to Beadle’s and Cox’s murders, Nerren wrote in a written opinion.

The circumstances “clearly indicate that Mr. Butler actively desired to kill both Ms. Beadle and Ms. Cox. One can infer from the several stab wounds and the close range, fatal gunshot wound to the forehead that Mr. Butler had specific intent to kill Ms. Beadle. The four gunshot wounds in Ms. Cox were also fired with the gun making contact with the skin which suggests that Mr. Butler actively desired to kill Ms. Cox who was laying in her bed. The nature of the fatal contact gunshot wounds found in both Ms. Beadle and Ms. Cox, as well as the evidence that shows the bullets were fired from the same gun, signify that Mr. Butler had the specific intent to kill both women,” Nerren stated.

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