ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One man is back on the streets less than a week after being arrested for pointing a rifle at drivers, as they passed by at a busy Albuquerque intersection. A judge determined there was a failure to show probable cause to keep him behind bars.
A spokesperson with the District Attorney’s Office sent the following statement behind the decision:
“A judge found that a criminal complaint prepared by the Albuquerque Police Department lacked probable cause and released the defendant. The complaint did not show that the victims felt in fear of being hurt when Ashton Butler brandished a rifle and pointed it at them. Our office will work with the officer to gather more details so that we can file a new charging document and refile our preventative detention motion.”
However, KRQE News 13 spoke with one of Butler’s neighbors who was shocked he was let go. “I don’t feel safe, it makes you wonder how someone can get released from something that crazy and get released so soon and be put back in the public,” said Butler’s neighbor.
The neighbor didn’t want to be identified but said Butler has only lived at Telegraph Apartments for two months. The apartment complex is a block away from where police said Butler pointed a rifle at drivers on the corner of Louisiana and San Antonio last Thursday.
The neighbor said Butler has been seen walking around the complex with a rifle a couple of times and is known for making a lot of loud noises. She said she and other neighbors have complained to the apartment complex about him. However, no action has been taken.
“She didn’t write no name, she didn’t take no report down, she didn’t write no name, she didn’t say anything,” the neighbor said.
The manager of Telegraph Apartments wouldn’t comment on the matter.
A spokesperson with the DA said Butler does have a number of past misdemeanors that include traffic violations and a pending battery case from earlier this month when he was accused of headbutting another man inside the Circle K near his apartment.
The charges for the incident last Thursday involving the rifle are still pending. Butler is set to have a preliminary hearing on August 4. A spokesperson with Metro Court says Butler’s arraignment for the headbutt incident is set for July.