- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona woman on trial for the death of her partner told jurors she shot the woman twice in self-defense.

Michele Butler, who is charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 death of 53-year-old Kimberly Shelton, testified Tuesday in a Pinal County courtroom, The Eloy Enterprise reported .

Under questioning by prosecutor William Wallace, Butler testified that Shelton had been abusive the night before the early December shooting. Shelton had threatened to kill her and pointed a gun at her pet chicken named Goofy, she said.

Butler, 57, fought with Shelton the next morning. She said she struggled with Shelton to gain control of a handgun. Butler fired and then shot again as Shelton lunged at her, she said.

“Everything happened so fast,” Butler said.

Shelton was found outside the couple’s home in Red Rock, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Tucson. She died at a hospital.

Wallace noted a bullet that stuck Shelton was found in a neighbor’s yard, indicating the shooting happened outside.

Butler’s account of events Tuesday differed from what she told the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office immediately after the shooting.

Detective Shawn Wilson, who interviewed Butler about the shooting, testified Tuesday that Butler was calm during his interactions with her. He said she never mention self-defense or the encounter she had with Shelton before the shooting. The recording of the interview indicated that Butler claimed she remained inside the house when she heard loud noises outside.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys finished presenting evidence to the jury Tuesday.


Information from: Casa Grande Dispatch.

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