A Laramie County man avoided a potential involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal shooting on Pole Mountain on Sept. 9, after the case was reviewed by the Albany County Attorney’s Office. The attorney’s office determined the shooting was in self-defense because of the reckless nature of events before the incident, Albany County Prosecuting Attorney Peggy Trent said. Self-defense was expanded in May — in the Wyoming Supreme Court case, Anthony Haire v. the State of Wyoming — to include reckless acts, such as when a person knowingly disregards potential risks, she said.

“In this particular case, it is our office’s position that Page acted recklessly in the way he proceeded, but the Supreme Court in May ruled self defense was available for when charging a crime involving a reckless act,” Trent said. “(If he was criminally charged), the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not do it in self-defense.”

Albany County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call regarding a fatal shooting around 1:20 p.m. Sept. 9 on Forest Service Road 701 on Pole Mountain.

When they arrived at the scene, the deputies learned Brice Page, 27, shot Matthew Butrick, 43, a sheriff’s office news release states.

Before the incident, Page and his family were traveling on Forest Service Road 701 when he saw a multi-colored truck allegedly chasing two subjects riding ATVs. The driver of the truck, identified as Butrick, was seen exiting his vehicle and began assaulting one of the riders — both of which were determined to be 15 years old, the news release states.

Page and his family approached the scene and yelled at Butrick to stop assaulting the rider, Butrick then turned his attention to Page and threatened to assault him if he didn’t mind his own business, sheriff’s office information states. The riders used this as an opportunity to collect themselves and leave the area, according to information provided by the sheriff’s office.

The news release states the two riders were getting ready to leave the area when Page drove down the road to wait for them and make sure they got out safely. While Page was going away from the scene, Butrick entered his vehicle and drove to where Page was waiting for the riders, according to the news release.

After Page exited his vehicle and retreated backwards to lead Butrick away from his family, Page then drew his fire arm and ordered Butrick to stay back or he would shoot, according to sheriff’s office information.

The news release states Butrick allegedly continued his advance and after Page retreated about 20 feet, he fatally shot Butrick — the two men were about 3 feet apart when the shot was fired.

“After Page fired his weapon, fatally wounding Butrick … the Albany county sheriff’s office recovered several loaded fire arms from Butrick’s vehicle,” Trent said. “Including a rifle that was visibly located on the gun rack of the vehicle.”

(1) comment

Watch-Dog

Since when is having a rifle that was visibly located on the gun rack of the vehicle against the law in Wyoming, and then this constitutes a right to feel personally threatened by it ? And, then, this, gives the right to feel so violated enough to shoot and kill an unarmed innocent until proven guilty individual? Is there not another side to the story we did not get a chance to hear? There is always 2 sides to one story. That is why we have a judge and jury in this fair country.
Country Attorney Peggy Trent determines that Matthew Butrick deserved to die because Brice Page saw a rifle hanging on a gun rack in the vehicle? So- this gives Mr. Page the right to fatally shoot Matthew in self defense? Once Mr Page saw the kids on ATVs leave the area safely- he too had a duty and opportunity and obligation to also leave the area and deescalate the situation instead of confronting an already upset Mr Butrick and putting himself and his family in harms way. After Page exited his vehicle and retreated backwards to lead Butrick away from his family, Page then drew his fire arm and ordered Butrick to stay back or he would shoot, according to sheriff's office information. If the 2 teenage ATV riders had enough common sense to collect themselves and leave the area safely, why then did a full grown Mr Page not do the same thing and follow right behind the 2 teenagers? Mr.Page had plenty of time to make this conscious decision to leave. But no, instead Mr. Page decided to stay and use his loaded fire arm as a defense with deadly force. Mr Page had the obligation to retreat instead of using deadly force. This is a clear case of Mr. Page looking for trouble and Mr. Page found it. Mr. Page used reckless acts and knowingly disregarded potential risks. If then, Mr Page is an County Deputy- is this a case of the County trying to protect itself from a wrongful death lawsuit.
Did anyone ever talk to the 2 teenage ATV riders who apparently instigated the problem with Mr. Butrick and witnessed the ordeal? Trent is the same attorney who tried a cold murder case from the 1980's with DNA evidence that didn't exist and lost the case and most recently filed another cold murder case before the results of the evidence was returned from the forensic crime lab. Trent had to dismiss the case and the crime lab results were never made public. It is apparent that Trent put's the cart before the horse. This Butrick murder deserves an independent investigation.

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