A murdered Utah couple, slain parents of three, were laid to rest in a private and intimate funeral which was streamed online over the weekend.
Tony Butterfield, 31, and Katherine Butterfield, 30, were shot to death in their West Jordan home on Apr. 18 as they attempted to fight off an intruder, West Jordan Police spokesman Sgt. J.C. Holt previously told Oxygen.com.
Their three children — ages 4, 2, and about 6 months old — were asleep when the killings took place. They were not harmed. The children were a main focus of Saturday’s memorial services, Fox13 Now reports.
The couple were buried at Herriman Cemetery as a small group of family gathered to honor their lives. Because of coronavirus restrictions, the funeral was not open to the public, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. An online stream was available instead.
An entry from Katherine’s diary was read aloud by her sister during the services. She had written, just weeks before her death, that her husband and kids honored her birthday with a “mini dance party” in their home, Deseret News reports.
“It has been one of my most favorite birthdays ever,” she had written.
During the service, family members promised to care for the slain couple's three children. They noted that the parents always put them first: They had even decided not to go on any vacations for the next five years in order to save for their retirement funds so they could retire earlier and spend more time with their kids.
In addition to being remembered as dedicated parents who were sometimes goofy, the couple was also remembered for being hard workers. The pair had owned a landscaping business.
“Tony helped many people with employment and often joked with family members that we should quit our jobs and work for him,” Katherine's brother Aaron Crane said during the services, according to Deseret News. “I had the privilege of working alongside Tony, and though problems would arise, I never once saw him complain or raise his voice. He was a well-balanced man.”
It was a hopeful employee that allegedly broke into the Butterfield home and shot them to death as they tried to defend their home. Albert Enoch Johnson, 31, was arrested a few days later in the Sacramento area of California following a fight with police, Holt told Oxygen.com last week. He’s expected to be extradited back to Utah to face two counts of aggravated murder at the very minimum, the officer said.
Before Johnson was apprehended, his wife, Sina Anne Johnson, 29, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence. She is accused of disposing evidence related to the double homicide, according to the affidavit obtained by Deseret News.
She allegedly told investigators that her husband wanted to work for the slain couple’s business. She said he “had attempted to obtain a job with their company at one point,” according to charging documents obtained by Deseret News.
“Tony and Katherine were beacons of light and goodness,” Katherine's brother Cameron Crane said in a public statement shortly following the funeral services, Fox13 reports. He said he has no hard feelings for Johnson's family.
“Our families believe in the laws of mercy and justice, and we are confident that the laws of justice will prevail. But we will focus on the loss of mercy," Cameron said Saturday. "We pray that the family of the perpetrator will feel that same mercy in their lives.”
It’s not clear if the Johnsons have lawyers who can speak on their behalves.
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