Man Sentenced to Decade in Prision for Murder Cold Case

A man was sentenced to a decade in prison in connection to the Teresa Butler cold case. The man was identified as 42 year-old Melvin Ray Hufford. He pleaded guilty on Friday, January 10. He was sentenced to seven years for the Class C felony of manslaughter and three years for the Class D felony of tampering with physical evidence. Those sentences will run concurrently for a total of 10 years in prison. He was charged with first-degree manslaughter for giving Teresa a fatal dose of methamphetamine and tampering with physical evidence for moving her body. Police in New Madrid County have been on Teresa Butler’s case since the beginning. They say they would have liked to have seen stricter sentencing, but given the charges, it was the best they could get. In November, New Madrid County officials arrested Hufford and he was taken to the Pemiscot County Jail awaiting trial on unrelated charges out of New Madrid County. He later confessed o injecting Butler with methamphetamine the night she died, wrapping her body in a tarp and taking it out of the house. Officials said he then stole some items from the home in an attempt to make it look like the Butlers had been robbed. Authorities have called Hufford a person of interest in the case from the very beginning. Teresa Butler, a 35-year-old mother, went missing from her home in Risco, Mo. in January 2006. Court documents revealed that  Hufford laid out a disturbing story that started the night of Teresa’s disappearance. Investigators say Hufford admitted to doing methamphetamine with Teresa and a second man at the Butler home on January 24, 2006. Court records indicate Hufford injected both of them with the drug, then Teresa said her chest hurt. Hufford said Teresa soon passed out and then didn’t have a pulse. According to authorities, Hufford said they “freaked out,” wrapped Teresa’s body in a tarp, then tried to make it look like someone robbed the home. Hufford recalled grabbing several items, including a camcorder authorities later fished out of a ditch in 2007. A man was sentenced to a decade in prison in connection to the Teresa Butler cold case. The man was identified as 42 year-old Melvin Ray Hufford. He pleaded guilty on Friday, January 10. He was sentenced to seven years for the Class C felony of manslaughter and three years for the Class D felony of tampering with physical evidence. Those sentences will run concurrently for a total of 10 years in prison. He was charged with first-degree manslaughter for giving Teresa a fatal dose of methamphetamine and tampering with physical evidence for moving her body. Police in New Madrid County have been on Teresa Butler’s case since the beginning. They say they would have liked to have seen stricter sentencing, but given the charges, it was the best they could get. In November, New Madrid County officials arrested Hufford and he was taken to the Pemiscot County Jail awaiting trial on unrelated charges out of New Madrid County. He later confessed o injecting Butler with methamphetamine the night she died, wrapping her body in a tarp and taking it out of the house. Officials said he then stole some items from the home in an attempt to make it look like the Butlers had been robbed. Authorities have called Hufford a person of interest in the case from the very beginning. Teresa Butler, a 35-year-old mother, went missing from her home in Risco, Mo. in January 2006. Court documents revealed that  Hufford laid out a disturbing story that started the night of Teresa’s disappearance. Investigators say Hufford admitted to doing methamphetamine with Teresa and a second man at the Butler home on January 24, 2006. Court records indicate Hufford injected both of them with the drug, then Teresa said her chest hurt. Hufford said Teresa soon passed out and then didn’t have a pulse. According to authorities, Hufford said they “freaked out,” wrapped Teresa’s body in a tarp, then tried to make it look like someone robbed the home. Hufford recalled grabbing several items, including a camcorder authorities later fished out of a ditch in 2007. He also allegedly admitted to putting Teresa’s body under the sink of an abandoned house in Tallapoosa, where it stayed for a couple of years.

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