Imprisoned Tre Butterfield Wants New Trial, Says Evidence Will Set Him Free
By Ron Lee
Editor, Investigative Journalist
Most people believe in our justice system. They incorrectly believe that all prosecutors care about guilt and every judge fairly rules on the letter of the law. They mistakenly think that police never lie, and suspects are “innocent until proven guilty.” In fact, many wrongly believe that innocent people don’t get arrested and that people who accuse others of crimes don’t make false claims. The biggest misconception is the belief that juries always hear all the evidence and that all verdicts serve justice, as well as the notion that someone who stands falsely accused would never take a plea deal.
Tre Butterfield claims he was railroaded; taken advantage of by an attorney who did nothing to defend him, and by a system who only believes what is reported to them – believing first and foremost those that initially file a complaint or talk to the police. If you are painted as a bad person, the system will forever view you in that light and exclude any possibility that any amount of evidence could prove your innocence. That is unless you have the US~Observer on your side.
Butterfield believes that his four accusers – especially his two cousins, Annabelle and Yasmine – all had their own motivations to make their claims against him, and that none of them were based on the truth or what factually occurred. He wants an opportunity to prove that in a court of law, something he maintains he didn’t have the option to do during his first trial. In that trial, Butterfield was found guilty of rape in the 2nd degree and guilty of rape of a child in the 3rd degree of Lillian (Lilly) Reese (now Lillian Coronel).
Lilly was an intoxicated 15-year-old girl at a party Tre, the just turned 20-year-old, was attending. Tre reports that he thought Lilly was 16, just like the friend she had come to the party with, Breanna Brown. Breanna and Tre had previously dated, and according to text messages between Tre and Breanna, that relationship had been consensually sexual. At the party, Tre alleges that Lilly had “hit on him,” and admits to kissing her but adamantly denies having sexual intercourse with her. In fact, there was never any medical or DNA findings that proved Tre Butterfield had sex with Lillian Reese.
Almost five years went by before any charges were formally filed against Tre.
As the US~Observer previously reported in our in-depth article “Sold Out by His Attorney” where we outlined a great deal of evidence that points to Butterfield’s innocence:
Butterfield’s own attorney, Robert Brungardt, helped get him convicted when he wrongly and willfully (against Tre’s reported wishes) told the jury in his opening statements that Tre was, “guilty of rape of a child in the third degree.”
How is that for a legal defense?
Upon reviewing the trial transcript in the case, any reasonable person could conclude that Tre’s attorney offered no real defense strategy; there was ample evidence and witness testimony offered that created enough reasonable doubt for a jury to conclude Tre Butterfield was not guilty, but when Brungardt made that opening statement claim, Tre’s case was essentially over, with a conviction an almost certainty. Now, with the evidence the US~Observer has collected showing Lilly added Tre to her social media the night of the alleged rape, it is even more imperative that Tre get a chance at a new trial.
Butterfield readily admits that it was Brungardt’s opening, the loss of the first trial, and Brungardt’s reported haranguing that forced Butterfield to take a plea on the other cases against him, saying, “He [Brungardt] said if I didn’t take a deal, I wouldn’t ever see the light of day. He came at me with the deal the day before [the second] trial was to begin. I had less than 24 hours to make a decision. On one hand I do 17.5 years and the other I may never leave prison. I couldn’t believe that it came down to this. I told him he did this to me. He just looked away and shrugged his shoulders. He told me if I went to trial, I was going to lose and never get out. He kept saying I needed to take a deal. So, I did.”
Butterfield’s plea secured his sentence of 17½ years in prison.
But what exactly did he plea to?
There was Breanna Brown’s accusation that came years before when she was telling the police what happened to Lilly. It had been an off-handed remark that Tre had done something similar to her yet never did anything about it. Almost five years after she made that comment, a police officer approached her about filing charges. She did. Not at any time before had she felt compelled, or think that it was a big enough issue, to file charges on her own, not even while her friend was supposedly going through the “same thing.”
As previously stated, the text messages between Tre and Breanna alone offer enough evidence to support Tre’s position that he is not guilty to what he took a plea to in this case. He deserves to take his evidence to trial.
Then there were the accusations made by Tre’s cousins Annabelle Bates and Yasmine Miller (now Yasmine Dickinson). The sisters say Tre had molested them over a period of several years. No one – not the grandparents, not the mother, not any friends – had any inclination that this behavior could have been going on. At first, even their mother didn’t believe them. Some relatives still don’t; still find it beyond believable.
From our previous article:
In April of 2019, Tre was living with his Grandparents in their home and was in the process of moving out. His aunt Brandy and her daughters Annabelle (16) and Yasmine (14) lived there, too, in a trailer on the property.
It was discovered by high school staff that Annabelle had brought a knife to school. When asked about the knife Annabelle reportedly stated that she was afraid of her cousin, and that he’d been molesting her. Interestingly, Tre was not known to ever go to her school for Annabelle to fear for her safety there. Immediately, the school contacted the police.
According to the police reports, there were inconsistencies that Brandy noted in her daughter’s story. But soon more allegations would emerge when Yasmine spoke up and told of abuse she had allegedly endured. However, Brandy and both daughters told police that they didn’t want a protection order against Tre. In the report, Brandy said she, “didn’t feel it was necessary.”
The cousins had both been very close with Tre, and text messages show that even after the allegations, the cousins kept reaching out to him trying to have a relationship with him.
Since we published our last article outlining the reported facts of Butterfield’s case and the details surrounding all the allegations against him, we have collected Butterfield’s specific work records that show when and where Butterfield was while on the job. This evidence could directly call into question the allegations made against him by his two cousins, as it shows that he worked in other cities on days alleged instances took place. Further, and most importantly, it has been reported to us that one girl has come forward and recanted her story to friends and relatives.
We are holding out hope that this individual knows how imperative it is for her to reach out to the US~Observer by calling 541-474-7885, anytime.
If you personally have information about Tre Butterfield, Annabelle Bates, Yasmine Dickinson, Lillian Coronel and/or Breanna Brown, or you are one of these individuals, please reach out to the US~Observer by calling the number above or by sending an email to email@example.com.
The US~Observer stands on the side of truth and justice, no matter where the facts might take us. If you have evidence, we want to see or hear it. What we can say about this case and the evidence we have collected is that if presented to a jury now, we believe it would provide reasonable doubt.
Tre Butterfield, who didn’t get his fair and impartial day in court the first time in Lilly’s case, and never in the others, deserves for it to all be heard. Then and only then can justice truly be certain.