Jefferson – A judge this morning sentenced James T. Richardson to life in prison without the chance for parole for slaying Beau Butschke July 14.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick said Richardson killed Butschke "in cold blood."
Richardson shot at Butschke about a dozen times and hitting Butschke three times, twice in the head.
"This was a methodical murder. A methodical crime," Koschnick said. "It was not a crime in the heat of the moment. It was well thought out."
Richardson and Butschke, who lived in side-by-side duplexes, had been arguing, frequently about lawn care, according to the criminal complaint.
On July 14, Richardson was shooting a rifle he had stolen from Butschke’s residence along with James H. Richards, 19, whom he had recently befriended. Richards told police they were shooting the rifle by a river when Butschke came walking down and asked what they were doing.
"Richardson jumped out from behind a tree and just started shooting," Richards told police, the complaint said.
Richardson was also charged with hiding a corpse with the intent to conceal a crime and Koschnick sentenced Richardson to five years in prison. Richardson and Richards took Butschke’s body and hid it in a storage unit in Ixonia. Then, using Butschke’s keys went to Butschke’s residence and ate his food and drank his beer, according to the complaint. Butschke’s body was discovered July 26.
Richards yesterday entered guilty pleas to theft and hiding a corpse with the intent to conceal a crime. Richards will be sentenced Dec. 7.