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Pot shop murder: 2 men sentenced to life in prison

Daniel Hinton and Raymond Easter are seen at their sentencing hearing in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.
January 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Two men have been sentenced in the 2010 murder of a marijuana clinic employee in Echo Park.

Matthew Butcher was 27 years old when he was murdered execution-style while working at Higher Path Holistic Care Collective in the 1300 block of West Sunset Boulevard on June 24, 2010.

He was gunned down by 35-year-old Daniel Hinton and 31-year-old Raymond Easter, who sat quietly Friday at their sentencing hearing in downtown Los Angeles.

They were also convicted of shooting security guard Urban Jones Jr., who was working at the dispensary that day and survived being shot in the head.

"Not only did these men rob my co-worker and I at gunpoint, but after they took everything they wanted and left the building, Raymond came back to take our lives. So I ask the court to do the same and impose the maximum sentence possible," Jones said at the sentencing hearing.

Butcher's family members also made their victim impact statements, and asked for the maximum sentence.

"In the name of justice, we ask that these murderers never walk among us. That they never ever get the chance to kill another mother's son," said the victim's mother, Julie Butcher.

In the end, the judge sentenced the two men to life in prison without parole.

"I am sorry for your loss for it did not have to happen," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus told the victim's family members. "When we have crimes like this, we usually describe them as brutal and senseless. Of course, any murder is senseless, but this one was so much more."

Easter and Hinton, who were convicted Nov. 19, still maintain that they are innocent.

"I feel they are convicting the wrong person," said Easter.

In addition to the life without parole sentences for Butcher's death, Easter and Hinton each received a life sentence for the attempted murder of Jones.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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