Man found guilty in Ga. deputy's 2017 death
Register was on trial for the 2017 wreck that claimed the life of 38-year-old Lowndes County Deputy Chris Butler
VALDOSTA, Ga. — A jury found a man guilty on charges related to the 2017 death of a Lowndes County Sheriff's deputy.
Robbie Javon Register was found guilty of one count of vehicular homicide due to DUI, one count of vehicular homicide due to driving in a reckless manner, DUI, improper turn at an intersection, failing to yield to emergency vehicle.
Jurors returned not guilty verdicts for two drug possession charges.
Register was on trial for the 2017 wreck that claimed the life of 38-year-old Lowndes County Deputy Chris Butler. He will be sentenced May 8.
EARLIER: 5:51 a.m. CDT, March 27
The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
VALDOSTA, Ga. — A Lowndes County jury asked for more time Tuesday afternoon to deliberate the case of a man charged in the 2017 traffic death of a sheriff’s deputy.
Robbie Javon Register is on trial for seven counts including vehicular homicide for the late February 2017 wreck that claimed the life of 38-year-old Lowndes County Deputy Chris Butler.
The trial continued Tuesday morning with the state calling its last witness, Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Ward Holton. Holton was an expert witness who was responsible for recreating the scene at the site of the wreck to determine the speed and position of the vehicles before and after the crash.
During his testimony, jurors were shown footage from a camera mounted in Register’s semi-truck. The video showed a view of the driver in the cabin and the view the driver would have seen at the front of the vehicle.
The video shows Register making the right-hand turn onto Cat Creek Road directly into the oncoming deputy’s vehicle.
After the state rested its case, the defense called its only witness, the defendant Robbie Javon Register. Register told his version of events stating his line of sight was obstructed by trees and he did not see the deputy until he had already completed his turn into the patrol car. Register claimed the deputy was not using his flashing lights.
During cross-examination, Southern District Attorney Brad Shealy played a recording of Register’s initial interview where he told officers, “I saw him but I knew I could beat him.” The defendant said he should have been more patient.
In closing statements, Defense Attorney Bill Folsom said there were two mistakes made. Register had misjudged and Butler was going too fast at 63 miles per hour.
Shealy showed the video to the jury again saying to them, “the video shows you everything you need to know.”
Register is charged with one count of vehicular homicide due to DUI, one count of vehicular homicide due to driving in a reckless manner, DUI, improper turn at an intersection, failing to yield to emergency vehicle, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine, according to court documents.
After deliberating for almost two hours Tuesday afternoon, the jury foreman said jurors agreed on some counts but not on others and requested more time.
Deliberations are set to continue 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
©2019 The Valdosta Daily Times (Valdosta, Ga.)