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Man accused of murder over lost lottery ticket

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DETROIT, Mi. — Bruce Butler, a General Motors retiree who played the lottery for 40 years, didn't gun down a Southfield liquor store employee because he was angry he'd left a winning ticket on the counter months earlier, his attorney says.

If Butler had won a $1 million prize, he would have known better than to try to cash it at a liquor store, attorney Joe Niskar said in his opening statement Friday.

But while Niskar contends police got the wrong man, prosecutors say they have evidence to prove Butler, 60, of Southfield fatally shot Mike Khmoro, 48, in the parking lot of the liquor store on Oct. 6, 2010.

Butler is now on trial, charged with first-degree murder, in Oakland County Circuit Court.

Police say Butler intended to shoot Khmoro's younger brother, who owned the store, and mistakenly shot Khmoro. Witnesses told police that months before, Butler was upset because he'd left a winning lottery ticket on the counter in the store to get beer, and it was stolen.

In his opening statement, Assistant Prosecutor Ken Frazee told the 10 women and four men on the jury that there is ample evidence to show Butler was the gunman.

Frazee said surveillance cameras showed Butler's black GMC Envoy pull into the store's parking lot at 2:53 p.m., where it remained for more than an hour.

Shortly before 4 p.m., Khmoro — who worked in the liquor store — wheeled a shopping cart full of garbage bags out of the store and to a trash bin. As he wheeled the cart back, someone inside the Envoy shot him four times. He died an hour later at a hospital.

"Mr. Khmoro was defenseless at the time he was shot," Frazee said.

At the time, Butler was months away from retiring from GM after 36 years. He was arrested 10 months later after his brother-in-law, Andrew Roberts, went to police and said Butler had confessed.

Roberts, who is expected to be a key prosecution witness, told police Butler asked him to hide the murder weapon, a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson.

Niskar said police, desperate to solve an unsolved murder, got the wrong man. The SUV on the surveillance tape could have been blue or purple, he said, and Butler, with his distinctive white hair, did not match the description eyewitnesses gave of the driver.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Detroit Free Press

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25 comments. Last comment 6 months ago by jamella724.
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MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
North Jersey
United States
Member #5709
July 18, 2004
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Posted: September 24, 2013, 11:54 am - IP Logged

Not to worry Mr. Butler, Oshameo will be calling soon.

              You have not lived Today, until YOU can do something for someone

                                         who can never repay you.


    United States
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    July 25, 2012
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    Posted: September 24, 2013, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

    They've got to have more than just the make of the car on the tape, cause that's a very popular model SUV..heck Ive got 3 in my neighborhood, 2 black and 1 white all within five houses of each other

      HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
      Boise, ID
      United States
      Member #94285
      July 17, 2010
      1403 Posts
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      Posted: September 24, 2013, 12:43 pm - IP Logged

      They've got to have more than just the make of the car on the tape, cause that's a very popular model SUV..heck Ive got 3 in my neighborhood, 2 black and 1 white all within five houses of each other

      Apparently they have his confession to his BIL, too.  Unless there's bad blood between them, I'd guess that would hold a lot of sway.

        RedStang's avatar - mustangstu zps4c591ef5.jpg
        Dutchess , NY
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        January 21, 2012
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        Posted: September 24, 2013, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

        If he's on trial, the bullets probably match the gun.

          helpmewin's avatar - dandy
          DON'T HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME
          u$a
          United States
          Member #106669
          February 22, 2011
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          Posted: September 24, 2013, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

          Man accused of murder over lost lottery ticket DETROIT, Mi

          Scared Shocking

                           

            dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
            Oklahoma
            United States
            Member #82391
            November 12, 2009
            4889 Posts
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            Posted: September 24, 2013, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

            WTH killing an innocent man over a freaking lottery ticket.

            Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

            I Love Pink & Green 1908

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              Listens to the wind

              United States
              Member #81740
              October 28, 2009
              17747 Posts
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              Posted: September 24, 2013, 1:57 pm - IP Logged

              OOOOOOOOOH, Brother in law turned him in, guess whose got the ticket.Poke

              There's only one US Flag

                dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                Oklahoma
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                Member #82391
                November 12, 2009
                4889 Posts
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                Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:04 pm - IP Logged

                OOOOOOOOOH, Brother in law turned him in, guess whose got the ticket.Poke

                I know right this is some drama Lurking

                Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

                I Love Pink & Green 1908

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  17413 Posts
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                  Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:13 pm - IP Logged

                  WTH killing an innocent man over a freaking lottery ticket.

                  ? a lottery ticket worth a freaking million dollars.

                  * Thoses who can, do * 
                  * thoses who can't, just talk *
                  Roll Eyes 

                    mypiemaster's avatar - peace
                    He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

                    United States
                    Member #141039
                    April 2, 2013
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                    Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

                    Police say Butler intended to shoot Khmoro's younger brother, who owned the store, and mistakenly shot Khmoro...I hate when that happens. DUMBA$$!!!.

                    Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

                    Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                      mid-Ohio
                      United States
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                      March 24, 2001
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                      Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:20 pm - IP Logged

                      OOOOOOOOOH, Brother in law turned him in, guess whose got the ticket.Poke

                      Sounds like a plan.  Another reason to never share your business with relatives and in laws

                      * Thoses who can, do * 
                      * thoses who can't, just talk *
                      Roll Eyes 

                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
                        United States
                        Member #82391
                        November 12, 2009
                        4889 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:25 pm - IP Logged

                        ? a lottery ticket worth a freaking million dollars.

                        Still not worth taking a person life.

                        Win BIG everyone....White Bounce

                        I Love Pink & Green 1908

                          HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                          United States
                          Member #72448
                          March 18, 2009
                          918 Posts
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                          Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:41 pm - IP Logged

                          I wonder if Bruce Butler quickly reported lottery ticket theft and state's lottery headquarter's didn't/wouldn't help him? What?

                          Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                            mid-Ohio
                            United States
                            Member #9
                            March 24, 2001
                            17413 Posts
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                            Posted: September 24, 2013, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

                            Still not worth taking a person life.

                            True, but many life have been taken for a lot less all over the country.

                            * Thoses who can, do * 
                            * thoses who can't, just talk *
                            Roll Eyes