Death penalty sought for man accused of killing couple found buried on Padre Island

Jury trials delayed because of slow lab testing due to COVID-19

Adam C. Williams

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a man charged with capital murder in the killing of a New Hampshire couple whose bodies were found in a shallow grave on a South Texas beach.

Adam C. Williams, 35, is one of two people accused in the deaths of James and Michelle Butler, whose remains were discovered on Padre Island near Corpus Christi in October 2019.

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Williams and 34-year-old Amanda Noverr were initially accused of stealing the Butlers’ pickup truck, but a grand jury later indicted them for intentionally and knowingly fatally shooting the couple during a “criminal transaction.”

During a status hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty against Williams if he is convicted, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported. They have not said if they would request the same sentence for Noverr.

Williams attended the hearing via Zoom.

Jury trials had been set to start July 12 but District Judge Jack Pulcher delayed the proceedings for both defendants, citing the slow progress of crime lab testing of evidence due to COVID-19.

Further status hearings were scheduled for August.

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