Rochester man found guilty of killing East High School student

Posted at: 05/10/2013 7:15 AM
Updated at: 05/10/2013 5:34 PM
By: Lynette Adams

A large outpouring of emotion in court Friday as a guilty verdict was read in the case of a man accused of killing an East High School senior.

The jury deliberated for three hours. Then they found Devonte Lively guilty of second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Larie Butler and then throwing her body into a backyard swimming pool.

When the verdict was read, the family of the Butler cheered and then began to sob.  Lively, a distant cousin of Butler, was found guilty of second-degree murder.

The tears, sobbing and celebrating continued outside the courtroom as Butler's mom cried, “They got him, we did it.” She and prosecutor Kelly Wolford gave each other a high five and hugged. Wolford says this case has been emotional since March 25, 2012, the day after the 17-year-old East High School student disappeared and police began to search for her.

Butler was stabbed and beaten to death. Her body was then thrown into a backyard pool where police found her five days later. Karen Snipes says justice was served and that Lively will get what he deserves.

Karen Snipes, Larie Butler's mother, said, “It means a lot to me, but it's not going to bring my daughter back. I'm happy he got the time that he deserved for doing what he did to my daughter. He took me through this trial,through all this hurt and all he had to do was plead guilty. And he didn't plead guilty we had to go through this trial and live it it all over again. And it's going to be hard for me to put myself back together.”

Kelly Wolford, Assistant District Attorney, said, “Thank goodness is all I could think of. It was absolutely the right thing. We can't bring Larie back, but it's the best we can do today.”

James Noble, Lively's attorney, did not speak with the media, but has said this was a case of smoke and mirrors. He questioned how it was possible for Lively to have committed this crime and return home in the time frame that the prosecution stated.

Lively could face life in prison when he's sentenced on June 14. He faces 25 years to life in prison.