An initial appearance was held Tuesday for Damon Lee Butler, 33, charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Vivian Pierce, 28, and her mother, Rebecca Pierce, 56.
The victims were found Saturday evening at Vivian’s Calera home. According to authorities, Butler was Vivian’s boyfriend and she planned to break up with him.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, friends tried to contact Vivian on Saturday and had been unable to find her. Rebecca Pierce was with Butler late that morning looking for her daughter.
The affidavit states that Rebecca told Vivian’s friends that Butler said he and Vivian had been fighting and that she left. A friend of Vivian’s said she last spoke with Rebecca by telephone at approximately 11:20 a.m. Saturday.
Calera Police were dispatched to Vivian’s Section Line Road residence at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday after Vivian’s body was found in a bathtub, according to a dispatch log.
After police arrived, Rebecca’s body was found in another bathroom, according to authorities, and both victims had been beaten and suffered knife wounds.
Butler was arrested Sunday by Trooper Johnny Christian, who is a member of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. Butler told Calera Police Chief Don Hyde that he did not kill the women but had been forced to watch, the affidavit states.
During Tuesday’s hearing, people wept as Butler was brought into the second-floor courtroom. A copy of the charges was handed to Butler and Special District Judge Trace Sherrill read the charges aloud and asked the defendant if he understood.
Butler, showing no emotion, quietly responded “Yes sir,” or nodded when the judge asked him questions.
District Attorney Emily Redman asked that bail be denied and Sherrill agreed.
Sherrill told Butler that he needed to obtain an attorney and set a March preliminary hearing conference.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Butler asked when he could place a telephone call and said he had not been allowed to do so. A man attending the hearing interrupted and called Butler vicious and said he would “rot in hell.”
Others attending the hearing restrained the man and Butler was quickly escorted out of the courtroom. Everyone else was ordered to remain inside the courtroom until Butler was taken back to jail.
A preliminary hearing conference for Butler was set for March 5.
Funeral services for the Pierces will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Victory Life Chapel in Durant.
Memorial funds for the Pierces have been established at First United Bank & Trust and contributions may be made at any branch bank.