Woman sentenced for shooting death

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – A 27-year-old Taylor woman will spend at least a dozen years in prison after last week’s sentencing in the shooting death of a man who’d been living with her.

Gabrielle Yvonne Butler was sentenced Feb. 25 by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James A. Callahan to a minimum of 10 – and maximum of 15 – years for manslaughter plus a consecutive, mandatory two-year term for felony firearms possession.

Earlier this month Butler pleaded guilty to the two lesser counts. She originally was charged with open murder, a felony carrying a potential life sentence.

Butler has been in custody since shortly after police responded in September 2015 to reports of gunshots from The Ponds apartment complex near Eureka and Inkster roads. Police and prosecutors said Butler’s occasional roommate, 28-year-old Kendall Dourell Murphy, had been among a group of people who spent the afternoon there drinking and watching football.

Investigators learned that Murphy and Butler had argued during the afternoon. Murphy had left at one point but had returned after midnight, and the two again argued.

Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene from gunshot wounds to the chest.

(James Mitchell can be reached at james.a.mitchell37@gmail.com.)