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‘I can’t live with my original decision on this case.’ Judge sentences man convicted of manslaughter after probation violation.

Dillon Butikofer | Jefferson County Jail
RIGBY – A man who was convicted of killing his 3-month-old infant last year is going to prison for a probation violation.
Dillon Butikofer, 22, was sentenced on Sept. 6 to a minimum of two years and a maximum of 10 years in prison by District Judge Stevan Thompson.
But Thompson retained jurisdiction, meaning Butikofer will complete a rider treatment program in prison for one year. Once the program is done, Thompson can decide whether or not to send him back to prison for his given sentence or release him back onto probation.
RELATED | Rigby man sentenced to 3 months in jail and probation for killing infant son
Butikofer was charged with a probation violation after being caught in a car with a handgun found in the glove box.
He is a felon due to a voluntary manslaughter conviction in 2022 and not allowed to possess firearms because of that.
He initially denied violating his probation but was found guilty after an evidentiary hearing on Sept. 6.
Evidentiary hearing
During Butikofer’s evidentiary hearing, Jefferson County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Peterson argued Thompson should revoke probation and impose Butikofer’s full sentence.
“I’m not sure how much a rider would benefit Mr. Butikofer at this time,” Peterson said. “There are programs and treatment available for individuals, and I think somebody with a charge of voluntary manslaughter should be able to do that, but I think it should be on a voluntary basis because he chose to engage in that.”
Butikofer’s attorney, Curtis Smith, argued for a retained jurisdiction, saying that other than this charge, Butikofer has done well on his probation.
“We have a young man here by what you just heard, has been going above and beyond, according to his probation officer,” said Smith. “(This is a) young man who calls me weekly to tell me about his success.”
Thompson explained he believes Butikofer is responsible for violating his probation.
“I think it’s your responsibility ultimately to make sure that those kinds of things are not in a vehicle that you’re going to be using or being a passenger in,” said Thompson.
Butikofer then made a statement to the court, promising to pay more attention to the possessions in other vehicles before he enters them in the future.
“I just wish that I would’ve paid more attention, and would’ve known that she had this firearm. I would’ve told her to take it back to her parent’s house, so I wouldn’t have been in this situation,” Butikofer said. “For the future, I will make sure that I know what is in everybody’s vehicle that I live with and that there is nothing in there that will get me in trouble again. Thank you, your honor.”
Thompson then addressed the underlying voluntary manslaughter charge and the circumstances of the probation violation.
“I kind of have to begin, obviously, with the underlying charge here in this case and the underlying circumstance was a very serious crime with the loss of life of a very young and innocent child,” said Thompson. “I have always been concerned that there never seemed to be any concern for the death of this child. There was never a victim impact statement, no one speaking on behalf of the victim in this case, it was like everyone was here to protect you.”
Thompson concluded by stating he regrets his original sentencing decision for the voluntary manslaughter charge and in some way, hopes to make up for it now.
“Overall, I guess at the end of the day Mr. Butikofer, I guess I’ll just be honest and tell you at this point, I’ve just come to the realization that I can’t live with my original decision on this case and give you probation. I think it was potentially wrong at the time,” Thompson said.
Butikofer was originally given a short jail sentence and a lengthy probation period.
Probation violation circumstances
On April 2, an officer with the Rexburg Police Department reportedly stopped a blue 2018 Kia Forte for making an unsafe lane change and having an expired registration.
When the officer approached the car, he noticed a woman driving and Butikofer sitting in the passenger seat.
When the woman opened the glove box to look for her registration card, the officer noticed a “black handgun amongst a stack of papers,” according to court documents.
The officer told the woman to close the glove box for safety reasons, and Butikofer reportedly told the officer the handgun was his dad’s. He then changed his story and said it was his grandfathers.
The officer asked if anyone was on probation, and Butikofer responded that he was on probation for voluntary manslaughter. The woman and Butikofer were asked to step out of the car, and Butikofer was arrested and taken to the Madison County Jail.
Background of manslaughter case
Butikofer was sentenced in 2022 after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter after the death of his three-month-old infant.
Thomson sentenced Butikofer to 90 days in jail as well as 10 years of felony probation with a 180-day discretionary jail sentence.
He received credit for 77 days time served before his sentence. He spent 13 days in county jail after the sentence and then was then placed on probation.
RELATED | Rigby man arrested after infant is rushed to Salt Lake City hospital
Butikofer was initially arrested in October 2021 after police and EMTs found his three-month-old baby unresponsive inside of his home.
The baby was transported from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls to Primary Children’s Hospital, in Salt Lake City, Utah by air ambulance. She died two days later.
Doctors at EIRMC told police the baby was suffering from a brain bleed. They also reported finding a fractured clavicle and a previous brain injury — both injuries were reportedly in the process of healing, showing they were not part of the event that led to the child’s eventual death.
The doctors told officers the child’s injuries were consistent with child abuse, adding they may have been caused by the child being shaken or slammed into something.
The post ‘I can’t live with my original decision on this case.’ Judge sentences man convicted of manslaughter after probation violation. appeared first on East Idaho News.

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