Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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No more jail time for son who locked mom in room

Mother, 92, told police she had feared for her life

  • Gavel-jpg-188

An Eau Claire man who was accused of locking his elderly mother in her room and stopping her from making phone calls will receive no additional jail time.

David B. Buttenhoff, 57, 409 E. Grant Ave., pleaded no contest Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court to a misdemeanor count of bail jumping and two unrelated misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct.

A felony count of false imprisonment and five additional misdemeanors — two counts of disorderly conduct and three counts of bail jumping — were dismissed but considered by Judge John Manydeeds in his sentencing decision.

Buttenhoff has been in jail on a cash bail for the past 159 days. 

Manydeeds followed a plea agreement, which gave Buttenhoff credit for the time he’s spent in jail with no additional jail time.

Buttenhoff’s attorney, Karleigh Miller, said Buttenhoff will be going to a group home in Chippewa Falls.

“He will not be living with his mother anymore,” Miller said of Buttenhoff.

According to the criminal complaint:

A friend of Buttenhoff’s mother called police on the night of May 10 because she was concerned for her safety based on the son’s history with drugs.

The friend said she had been on a phone call with Buttonhoff’s mother when the son took the phone away. When the friend called back, Buttonhoff answered, told her his mother “had gone to heaven and was dead,” screamed at the friend, refused to hand the phone to his mother and then hung up.

Eau Claire police officers arrived at 8:53 p.m. at the house the 92-year-old mother shares with her sons.

The mother told police that she feared for her life the whole day. She said her son forced her to stay in her room all day, yelled at her for a long time, and took her purse, money and phone. Officers noted that she is recovering from recent injuries to her shoulder and hip, which requires her to rely on help from friends and neighbors.

Buttenhoff’s mother said her son behaves strangely after he uses methamphetamine.

An officer recognized that Buttenhoff’s behavior — inability to sit still, fidgeting, rocking side-to-side, making strange noises with his mouth, gesturing wildly with his hands — is often seen in meth users.

He told police that he recently received a $100,000 reward for rescuing two dogs but believed his mother and brother had stolen $64,000 of it.

Buttenhoff claimed his mother suffers from dementia and will die soon from old age. He also told police that girls often lie to get boys in trouble.

He denied yelling at her or preventing her from leaving her room. Buttenhoff admitted to an officer that he had used meth a week and a half earlier.

He initially refused to be arrested, but Buttenhoff eventually agreed to get into the squad car to go to jail.

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com

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