Beatrice Man Convicted in Rape, Seeking New Trial, DNA Testing

BEATRICE – A Beatrice man convicted in a rape case is seeking a new trial and new DNA testing.  The motions filed in Gage County District Court by Joseph Buttercase have been taken under advisement by District Judge Vicky Johnson.

Buttercase made a court appearance by telephone Friday, representing himself.  Judge Johnson deferred action on his request for new legal counsel, until the trial and DNA motions are resolved.  The new trial motion alleges malicious prosecution and the withholding of evidence.  In an August 23rd motion, Buttercase contends the newly discovered evidence is from testimony in Otoe County District Court, including Facebook messages.

Chief Deputy Gage County Attorney Amanda Spracklen-Hogan told the judge the state’s only DNA evidence was that which was entered in the trial, and said there is no basis to grant the motion for new testing.  She contends that new information cited in the request for a new trial,  would not change the outcome of the original trial.

In a separate motion filed August 30th, Buttercase is also seeking return of personal property, after being sentenced for a U.S. District Court conviction involving child pornography.  He contends the personal property, which included computer equipment, media cards and compact discs….are no longer needed as evidence by federal and state prosecutors and the Beatrice Police Department.

Buttercase was convicted in a Gage County District Court Jury trial in August of 2012, and was sentenced in December, 2012.  He received a total of 26 to 41 years in prison, for 1st-degree sexual assault, strangulation, false imprisonment and 3rd-degree domestic assault.

Buttercase was found guilty in the beating and rape of a 29-year-old Beatrice woman in July, 2011.    State prison records show he would be eligible for parole in November, 2025.

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