News

Police: Four local juveniles facing murder charge in Butler slaying

Teens allegedly stabbed the 19-year-old while trying to rob him of marijuana

Four teenage boys from the Tri-Valley were arrested Friday on warrants for murder and kidnapping during a robbery in connection with the fatal stabbing of Pleasanton native Jackson Reese Butler last month, according to Pleasanton police.

Police did not release the names nor any other identifying information about the four suspects, citing the fact they are underage. A fifth person -- a 19-year-old Tri-Valley man -- who was arrested earlier in the investigation still faces accessory to murder, but he has not been charged with murder, according to Lt. Erik Silacci.

The arrests come five weeks to the day after the violent encounter that took the life of 19-year-old Butler, a former Amador Valley High School student who competed in judo internationally and had Olympic aspirations.

Jackson Reese Butler died after being stabbed in the Hyatt House Pleasanton parking lot on April 15. (Contributed photo)

"The Pleasanton Police Department would like to extend our condolences to the Butler family," Silacci said in a statement. "During their time of grief, they remained resilient and trusted in our department’s ability to solve this crime. We hope the arrests and pending charges of these violent suspects will bring some form of closure to the Butler family."

Butler's death, which occurred about a month into the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, marked the city's first homicide in just under eight years.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

Police stated at the outset of their investigation that a drug sale was being looked at as a possible factor, and Silacci provided new details about those circumstances on Friday morning.

According to the lieutenant, Butler was actively advertising and selling marijuana wax cartridges and the four juvenile suspects devised a plan to rob Butler of inventory on the night of April 15. The product was a form of concentrated cannabis traditionally used in vaping, which Butler was allegedly selling illicitly.

The four youth suspects set up a meeting with Butler -- the nature of which is still unknown -- in the parking lot of the Hyatt House Pleasanton, where Butler had a room, according to Silacci.

The plan, allegedly, was always to rob Butler that night, but the situation turned violent. A fight ensued during the robbery and Butler was stabbed multiple times around 8:20 p.m., according to Silacci.

The 19-year-old man was transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he died from his injuries.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Police have not clarified which suspects were involved in the fight, or who did the stabbing. They initially reported the confrontation involved two people against Butler, but Silacci confirmed Friday that their "exhaustive investigation" found that the four juveniles "were directly involved in the murder of Jackson Butler."

The culprits fled the scene immediately on the night of April 15, police said at the time.

Six days later, police announced the arrests of Isaiah Joseph Howard, a 19-year-old Amador Valley alum, on suspicion of accessory to murder and concealment or destruction of evidence, as well as a 17-year-old boy (whose name was not released on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.

But no homicide charges were filed for weeks as the investigation continued. Howard posted bail while the 17-year-old was released from custody too, because prosecutors had not filed formal charges against him due to the ongoing investigation, police said.

The Butler family told the Weekly last week that they were remaining patient during the drawn-out investigation that was possibly impacted by the COVID-19 shelter order, but some in the community expressed concern that no murder charges were filed yet. The case entered the national spotlight earlier this week when Fox News featured the story.

"Our Criminal Investigations Unit has been working solely on this case for the past month. Each and every case has different challenges and this case has presented it’s fair share," Capt. Larry Cox said last week.

The case took a major turn on Friday when arrest warrants were executed on the four juvenile suspects. Three of the teen boys were arrested while the fourth turned himself in to the Pleasanton Police Department.

Each of the four were booked into Alameda County Juvenile Hall on charges of murder and kidnapping during the commission of a robbery. Silacci declined to release any identifying details about the underage arrestees, but he did confirm one of them was the same 17-year-old boy who was arrested earlier in the investigation.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office will make the final determination on whether the four juveniles will be charged as adults, according to Silacci.

Meanwhile, Howard is scheduled to appear in court next month in relation to the charges of accessory to murder and concealing evidence, according to the lieutenant.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Police: Four local juveniles facing murder charge in Butler slaying

Teens allegedly stabbed the 19-year-old while trying to rob him of marijuana

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, May 22, 2020, 12:26 pm
Updated: Sun, May 24, 2020, 3:32 pm

Four teenage boys from the Tri-Valley were arrested Friday on warrants for murder and kidnapping during a robbery in connection with the fatal stabbing of Pleasanton native Jackson Reese Butler last month, according to Pleasanton police.

Police did not release the names nor any other identifying information about the four suspects, citing the fact they are underage. A fifth person -- a 19-year-old Tri-Valley man -- who was arrested earlier in the investigation still faces accessory to murder, but he has not been charged with murder, according to Lt. Erik Silacci.

The arrests come five weeks to the day after the violent encounter that took the life of 19-year-old Butler, a former Amador Valley High School student who competed in judo internationally and had Olympic aspirations.

"The Pleasanton Police Department would like to extend our condolences to the Butler family," Silacci said in a statement. "During their time of grief, they remained resilient and trusted in our department’s ability to solve this crime. We hope the arrests and pending charges of these violent suspects will bring some form of closure to the Butler family."

Butler's death, which occurred about a month into the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, marked the city's first homicide in just under eight years.

Police stated at the outset of their investigation that a drug sale was being looked at as a possible factor, and Silacci provided new details about those circumstances on Friday morning.

According to the lieutenant, Butler was actively advertising and selling marijuana wax cartridges and the four juvenile suspects devised a plan to rob Butler of inventory on the night of April 15. The product was a form of concentrated cannabis traditionally used in vaping, which Butler was allegedly selling illicitly.

The four youth suspects set up a meeting with Butler -- the nature of which is still unknown -- in the parking lot of the Hyatt House Pleasanton, where Butler had a room, according to Silacci.

The plan, allegedly, was always to rob Butler that night, but the situation turned violent. A fight ensued during the robbery and Butler was stabbed multiple times around 8:20 p.m., according to Silacci.

The 19-year-old man was transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he died from his injuries.

Police have not clarified which suspects were involved in the fight, or who did the stabbing. They initially reported the confrontation involved two people against Butler, but Silacci confirmed Friday that their "exhaustive investigation" found that the four juveniles "were directly involved in the murder of Jackson Butler."

The culprits fled the scene immediately on the night of April 15, police said at the time.

Six days later, police announced the arrests of Isaiah Joseph Howard, a 19-year-old Amador Valley alum, on suspicion of accessory to murder and concealment or destruction of evidence, as well as a 17-year-old boy (whose name was not released on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.

But no homicide charges were filed for weeks as the investigation continued. Howard posted bail while the 17-year-old was released from custody too, because prosecutors had not filed formal charges against him due to the ongoing investigation, police said.

The Butler family told the Weekly last week that they were remaining patient during the drawn-out investigation that was possibly impacted by the COVID-19 shelter order, but some in the community expressed concern that no murder charges were filed yet. The case entered the national spotlight earlier this week when Fox News featured the story.

"Our Criminal Investigations Unit has been working solely on this case for the past month. Each and every case has different challenges and this case has presented it’s fair share," Capt. Larry Cox said last week.

The case took a major turn on Friday when arrest warrants were executed on the four juvenile suspects. Three of the teen boys were arrested while the fourth turned himself in to the Pleasanton Police Department.

Each of the four were booked into Alameda County Juvenile Hall on charges of murder and kidnapping during the commission of a robbery. Silacci declined to release any identifying details about the underage arrestees, but he did confirm one of them was the same 17-year-old boy who was arrested earlier in the investigation.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office will make the final determination on whether the four juveniles will be charged as adults, according to Silacci.

Meanwhile, Howard is scheduled to appear in court next month in relation to the charges of accessory to murder and concealing evidence, according to the lieutenant.

Comments

Good work!
Amador Estates
on May 22, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Good work!, Amador Estates
on May 22, 2020 at 2:28 pm
11 people like this

Good work PPD!


Indy 500 Girl
Walnut Hills
on May 22, 2020 at 4:22 pm
Indy 500 Girl, Walnut Hills
on May 22, 2020 at 4:22 pm
19 people like this

Finally, #justiceforjackson! My heart is breaking for this lovely family. My son attended elementary and middle school with Jackson and played many sports alongside him. He was a kind, funny, caring and intelligent young man. I cannot even imagine going through this and not being able to even touch your deceased loved one to say goodbye and have some closure. Our family continues to pray for justice to be served and for the Jackson Family. Please continue to keep us updated and especially when there can be a Celebration of Life for Jackson Reece Butler.


My opinion
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm
My opinion, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm
23 people like this

This is a horrible crime and I feel very badly for the family that has lost their loved one. Did the family have no idea that their son was selling drugs? How did he manage to have a room at the hotel when we were all on lockdown? This death was completely preventable had he not been selling drugs. Nothing will bring peace to his family but perhaps if they have other children they might take more of an interest in the activities of those children. Selling illegal drugs is a pretty good way to end up dead or in prison. Neither one being a good outcome.


justice for jackson
Downtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm
justice for jackson, Downtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm
15 people like this

“Actively advertising” what does that mean? I didn’t see a billboard on the highway? Also marijuana is LEGAL in the state of CA , as legal if not more than alcohol. These thugs need to be prosecuted and charged as adults!


justice for jackson
Downtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:27 pm
justice for jackson, Downtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:27 pm
15 people like this

@myopinion this crime could have been prevented if parents didn’t raise murderers


Concerned parent
Sycamore Place
on May 24, 2020 at 2:26 am
Concerned parent, Sycamore Place
on May 24, 2020 at 2:26 am
9 people like this

Marijuana is legal in CA but there are certain rules in buying and selling it. Generally, selling or giving marijuana to minors are illegal and is punishable by at least 3 years in state prison. Unless the victim had obtained it legally for medicinal use (at least 21yo for recreational use), the seller or whoever provided it to the victim should also be held responsible for his death.


a neighbor
Golden Eagle
on May 24, 2020 at 7:56 am
a neighbor, Golden Eagle
on May 24, 2020 at 7:56 am
24 people like this

I grew up with Jackson. For those that are making assumptions about Jackson I’m just going to say, you are WRONG. He was polite, respectable, humble, intelligent and the most charismatic person I have ever met. Sure he might have made some unwise decisions, but don’t we all? He didn’t deserve to die at the hands of 4 others. His family does not to deserve to lose him. On facebook someone is arguing that he deserved this. That’s like saying a girl wearing a low cut shirt asked to be assaulted, WRONG. It is 2020, when will we stop the victim shaming. Jackson was very loved throughout Pleasanton- ask anyone. We also should know the names of these individuals, if they had the nerve to commit such an atrocity against a great person, it deserves to be public knowledge! They willingly took a life, had multiple weeks to come forward, but instead hid like the cowards they are. Butler family you are in my prayers, you raised an amazing young man. Jackson will never be forgotten by anyone who knew him. Love you bro!


My opinion
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2020 at 9:18 am
My opinion, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2020 at 9:18 am
18 people like this

Few reasonable people would ever say that this young man, or any other, deserves to be killed. However, his bad decisions led him down that inevitable path. He may have had a lot of great traits and a promising future, but he died because he was committing a crime or series of crimes and those actions caught up with him. I do think the killers should be identified but the law prevents that due to their age. I also believe that the Hyatt should be accountable if they provided a room to him. How does a 19 year old, living in Pleasanton, most likely having no credit cards, reserve a room during the SIP rules that also applied to the hotel? How did his parents fail to know anything about where he was or what he was doing? A lot of people failed this promising young man but ultimately he made his own bad choices and could not avoid the outcome.


justice for jackson
Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 10:42 am
justice for jackson, Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 10:42 am
11 people like this

First, he was 19, an adult and one article stated he was staying with his girlfriend in the hotel. Why are you blaming his parents? What about the parents of the four murderers? It was shelter in place why were they allowed out of the house to brutally murder someone? I know one by name, do you want me to give it you so you can publicly attack her too?


JUDOSWORLD
Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 3:52 pm
JUDOSWORLD, Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 3:52 pm
22 people like this

To those of you who did not have the pleasure of knowing Jackson Butler, I am sorry. I met this remarkable person at the beginning of middle school, and he became one of my best friends for life. In fact, he became best friends with a lot of people. Jackson was compassionate, and he would never let those around him be down/upset. Whether by making a fool of himself, telling a joke, or sharing a funny story, Jackson made it his priority to make those around him smiling and in good spirits. He cared for others unlike anybody I have ever met, and he proved this through his actions over the course of his far-too-short 19 years on this Earth. If you are condemning him for his actions at this time, shame on you. A human life is the most delicate thing, and once it is taken it cannot be returned. No person is the worst thing they have done, and at this time I would please ask everyone who has an opinion on Jackson's behavior to keep it to themselves, as it does no good for our grieving community, and is blatantly disrespectful to Jackson's friends and family. I thank God for putting Jackson in my life, his impact is profound and will never be forgotten. Rest In Paradise brother, You will be missed tremendously. To all reading this, please say a prayer/send a good thought to the Butler family. No family deserves to go through this unspeakable loss, and they need all the support they can get.

Philippians 4:13 - thank you for inspiring me Jackson, we will honor you until we see you again.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm
10 people like this

It’s completely possible to feel for his parents loss and point to his actions as contributions to that loss.

Does that mean he doesn’t deserve justice or respect for the good in his life? Of course not.

Does it mean people can’t learn from his mistakes, absolutely they can.

We shouldn’t let this tragedy go to waste, it should be a talking point and discussion for all parents/children.


a neighbor
Del Prado
on May 24, 2020 at 4:53 pm
a neighbor, Del Prado
on May 24, 2020 at 4:53 pm
12 people like this

Yes we can learn from Jackson, to honor him. Be better people for him, and make better choices for him. And we can learn from those who took his life- [Portion removed for expletive]. Selling weed is one thing, but murdering, stabbing someone multiple times!?!! I say we start a petition so that those individuals be tried as adults. You wanna play with adults, then you need to be held accountable as adults. These pleasanton kids thinking they are all big and bad, they will find out how big and bad prison is. Alameda County please make a statement here, WE DO NOT NEED MURDERERS IN PLEASANTON.


Long time resident
Mohr Park
on May 24, 2020 at 4:59 pm
Long time resident, Mohr Park
on May 24, 2020 at 4:59 pm
10 people like this

Let those men rot in prison. Their mothers will still be able to see them, they stole that chance from Jackson’s parents and family.
Karma, that’s all I have to say, they will get theirs. Rest In Peace Jackson, beside God.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 5:33 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 5:33 pm
18 people like this

The young man that was murdered has his life exposed here while the young people charged with his murder have their life's kept in secrecy.

That is reverse justice!kt3f2


CWM
Stoneridge
on May 24, 2020 at 7:48 pm
CWM, Stoneridge
on May 24, 2020 at 7:48 pm
18 people like this

He may have been a wonderful kid growing up in P-Town but this is the classic example of what the consequences can be when you hit the fork in the road and choose the wrong path. When you make the decision to deal drugs, regardless of the type of drug, you enter a world filled with violence. It usually doesn't affect us here in Pleasanton but is very prevalent in Oakland, San Francisco, Richmond,.... This type of violence is all too common an occurrence in the world of drugs. For those that want to convict the four JUVENILES and throw away the key, probably not going to happen. Unless they are tried as adults they will be out of jail at age 25. That's right, they may do a total of 8 years for killing another human because that is what the people of California voted to do with juveniles that commit murder. If these four are tried as adults then they will spend more years in prison but they still won't throw the key away. Doesn't seem fair but that is the way it is in California.


zip it now
Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 8:29 pm
zip it now, Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 8:29 pm
20 people like this

An open letter to
@my opinion
@concerned parent
@whoever wants to offer their opinion here :

Please stop. Now is not the time to offer your judgment. I know this boy and this family. Nothing you say is going to help them. Nothing you say is going to help the healing for all who knew and loved Jackson.

You may feel it is your right to speak your mind. But we never know the whole story. I don’t and you certainly don’t.

I will say from direct knowledge that there is NOTHING his parents could have done Differently.

So please:

...stop with the “he made poor choices” dogma. Insensitive at best. Foolish for sure. Nobody needs your judgment.

...stop offering your advice to his parents that “if only they had....”. You truly have no idea what you’re are talking about. Your comments only add to their pain.

Justice will be done. The wheels may turn slower than we like but it will come.

Nobody deserves for this to happen. I’m sad for what this world was denied when Jackson’s life was taken away. He was just getting started and, just like you and me, was trying to figure it out.

God bless the Butler family. May the be granted mercy and grace and peace from our almighty Heavenly Father.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 8:43 pm
8 people like this

zip it now:

By way of the Weekly publishing this story, throws it wide open for everyone to post comment.

You should redirect your feelings, towards the Weekly for publishing this story.

Describe your opinion regarding free press.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 8:45 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2020 at 8:45 pm
10 people like this

You can mourn the loss of someone and also acknowledge decisions that may have not been the best. Acceptance of one is not condemnation of the other.

Jackson can be a good kid and make a bad decision. Jackson’s parents can be amazing people and Jackson made his own choices. The kids that murdered him could have been great students with promising futures.

That doesn’t mean his death should go without justice, or that the loss is any less painful.


justice for all
Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 10:40 pm
justice for all, Downtown
on May 24, 2020 at 10:40 pm
5 people like this

Someone want to post the juveniles name? Maybe then we can bash them. Please let us know when these court dates are, I believe juvenile trials for murder is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Pleasanton lets rally up and support this fine young man.


av grad
Ruby Hill
on May 24, 2020 at 11:03 pm
av grad, Ruby Hill
on May 24, 2020 at 11:03 pm
19 people like this

I went to school with both the brothers who have been arrested in this case. They deserve what is coming to them. Wannabe gang bangers. Went to school with Jackson as well, typical kid. Everyone spoke highly of him. Isaiah Howard played football with Jackson freshman year, and [Portion removed as unverified information]. I hope Jackson haunts you both, little fks.


Concerned parent
Sycamore Place
on May 25, 2020 at 2:11 am
Concerned parent, Sycamore Place
on May 25, 2020 at 2:11 am
7 people like this

To zip it now:
I simply stated the basic marijuana rules in CA. Personally, I don't think marijuana is a big deal and the rules don't make sense.


a friend
Happy Valley
on May 25, 2020 at 9:05 am
a friend, Happy Valley
on May 25, 2020 at 9:05 am
6 people like this

If you have not read the update, all 4 “were directly involved in the murder of Jackson Butler” that is the must cowardly thing I have ever heard. 4 vs 1 with knives? Jackson still probably gave them a run for their money and broke a few noses. Whoever raised these individuals- you raised a bunch of wussies. Typical cowards.
Long live Jackson Reese Butler
All of us that knew him have the best guardian angel.


Renee2
Pleasanton Middle School
on May 25, 2020 at 9:56 am
Renee2, Pleasanton Middle School
on May 25, 2020 at 9:56 am
4 people like this

I don't get it. When other young people (those with mental illness) have died in Pleasanton doing illegal activities, comments on here were not so compassionate. I'm tired of people blaming parents for the actions of fully grown adults. We should feel for any family that has lost a loved one, but we can't have blinders on about what happened here. This is happening in small suburban towns and big urban cities. If you become involved in criminal activity, there are eventual dire risks: jail time or death. We can do all the vaping and drug education talks, but unfortunately real live incidents such as these might finally open the eyes of some. May there be appropriate justice and peace for all.


a friend
Downtown
on May 25, 2020 at 11:34 am
a friend, Downtown
on May 25, 2020 at 11:34 am
5 people like this

@renee2 I don’t think people are speaking poorly about Jackson because there is nothing bad to say about him? Read the hundreds of comments/postings about him. He was the best of the best. He did not bring his death upon himself, someone took his life. And they deserved to be punished. He may have made some poor choices, which we all do from time to time, but he was one of the better kids I have known. And I hope that the greatness he brought to the community, lives on forever.


Mr. Julius
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2020 at 11:57 am
Mr. Julius, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2020 at 11:57 am
2 people like this

Try them as adults. Governor Newsom will probably pardon them after s couple of years.


CWM
Stoneridge
on May 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm
CWM, Stoneridge
on May 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm
14 people like this

@friend
You can't see the forest thru the trees. You are way to close to make an objective observation as evident by you saying "I hope that the greatness he brought to the community, lives on forever." Really, being a drug dealer is bringing greatness to our community???? He may have been the best of the best at one time but something changed at some point and he entered the sleazy world of drugs where violence is prevalent. A bad choice that cost him his life, which I'm sure is not the outcome that he envisioned when he started dealing. I am not saying he deserved to die, but if he wasn't dealing drugs he would be alive today and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Yes, I hope the four get tried as adults but that is up to the DA's office. That is where you need to apply the pressure for the justice you want to see handed out. Lots of unanswered questions still out there so we will all just have to wait to see where this ends up.


Michael F.
Pleasanton Heights
on May 25, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Michael F., Pleasanton Heights
on May 25, 2020 at 1:17 pm
5 people like this

To "zip it now"

Well said!!! I had the privilege of meeting Jackson-GREAT KID! My prayers to his family and everyone that loved him. I hope the ones that are convicted get the death penalty.

To:
@my opinion
@concerned parent
@CWM

I wish people like you would leave our community, it's obvious you have issues making statements without knowing the facts.


Av grad
Ruby Hill
on May 25, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Av grad, Ruby Hill
on May 25, 2020 at 1:17 pm
6 people like this

@CWM
If [Portion removed as unverified information] and his 3 thug buddies didn’t attack Jackson with knives Jackson would still be here. End of story.


CWM
Stoneridge
on May 25, 2020 at 1:43 pm
CWM, Stoneridge
on May 25, 2020 at 1:43 pm
19 people like this

@AV grad - If Jackson hadn't been selling drugs he wouldn't have been their and would be alive
today. Pretty simple logic. All I'm says is that all choices we make have consequences and some are unintended.

@ Michael F - I only commented on what was reported in the article. He was selling drugs according to the police press release. If you think that is a noble profession then I guess he died a hero in your eyes. I've been here for over 50 years and I'm not going anywhere my dear friend.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.