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Suspect tied to murder, kidnappings and rapes from metro Atlanta to central Alabama arrested, sheriff says

Michael Butler was arrested on Saturday in Autauga County, Alabama after a three-day crime spree.

ATLANTA — A crime spree that stretched from metro Atlanta to central Alabama is over and the accused suspect is locked up. It involved kidnappings, multiple rapes and even murder. The man was arrested during a high-speed pursuit in Autauga County, Alabama, on Saturday, Nov. 5. 

Michael Butler, 35, of Greenville, Alabama, was out on mandatory release from the Alabama corrections department when he allegedly began his three-day crime spree beginning on Thursday, Nov. 3. 

"This is a violent and dangerous individual," St. Clair County Sheriff Billy J. Murray explained.

Sheriff Murray announced during a news conference Thursday that Butler is charged in connection to the Nov. 5 shooting death and rape of Victoria Ann Malet, 54, of Lincoln, Alabama. Sheriff Murray said Malet's body was found on Sunday, Nov. 6 in a wooded area of St. Clair County, Alabama. She would be the final victim in the crime spree.

Credit: Autauga County Sheriff
Michael Butler

Prior to this homicide on Nov. 5, authorities said Butler carried out a couple of violent crimes in metro Atlanta -- in both Coweta and Fulton Counties.

On Friday, Nov. 4, the Coweta County Sheriff said Butler pulled into the driveway of a residence on Waterworks Road in Newnan where a couple was outside and forced the homeowners, at gunpoint, back into their house.

Once inside, the sheriff's office said Butler forced the woman to tie the man up. Butler then stole multiple items from the house, loading the items into the victims’ car.

The sheriff's office said Butler then forced the couple to drive him toward the interstate. On the way to the interstate, the woman convinced Butler to let them pull over into a gas station parking lot, so they could secure some of the items in the car, according to the sheriff's office. 

The sheriff's office said the woman got out of the car under the guise of securing the stolen items and ran inside the gas station, where she called Coweta County Emergency-911. Butler then drove the couple’s car, with the man tied up in the passenger seat back to their home on Waterworks Road, where he attempted to shoot the man at least three times, each time his firearm malfunctioned. 

Butler instead beat the man with the firearm, then left the scene in the car he arrived in. The man was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his wounds, authorities said. 

Hours later, Chattahoochee Hills Police said Butler shot a man in the chest and leg off Hutcheson Ferry Road. This home is about 15 miles away from where the location on Waterworks Road in Coweta County. 

Butler is accused of starting his crime spree the day before he arrived in metro Atlanta on Thursday, Nov. 3. The sheriff's office said Butler is accused of kidnapping two girls outside a Walgreens and raping them in Prattville, Alabama. Fortunately, the girls were able to escape and survived the ordeal.

Butler is being held without bond. He will be extradited back to Georgia to face his charges in Coweta and Fulton Counties in the near future.

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