A Puyallup man who admitted stabbing his roommate to death last year will be involuntarily committed to a state pyschiatric hospital instead of being prosecuted for murder.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson this afternoon found Lawrence David Butterfield incompetent to stand trial and ordered the first-degree murder charge against him dismissed.
A medical professional from Western State Hospital advised Cuthbertson that Butterfield was too mentally ill to help in his defense and that the likelihood of restoring his competence through drug therapy was slim, deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen said.
Butterfield, 55, has a documented history of “significant mental health issues” and told investigators he heard voices telling him to kill the night he stabbed James Bradshaw, 53, at the Eagles Watch apartment complex Nov. 18, court records show.
Prosecutors reserved the right to refile the murder charge should Butterfield respond well to treatment at Western State Hospital and some day qualify for release, Sorensen said.