Melody Butt, convicted after twins' deaths, avoids prison a second time

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Gazette staff
Friday, March 14, 2014

MADISON—An East Troy woman sentenced to probation in the deaths of her twin children in 2011 will not go to prison as a result of being arrested for new crimes in January.

Melody N. Butt was convicted in 2012 of child neglect/causing death. She had fallen asleep while the 11-month-olds were in the bathtub.

Walworth County Judge David Reddy imposed but stayed a 10-year prison sentence. Reddy placed her on 14 years of probation, to include a year in jail with release time for work and to care for her remaining three children.

Butt, now 28, of 2041 Lily St., East Troy, faces four misdemeanor charges in Walworth County Court after her arrest in January. She is charged with illegally obtaining a prescription drug, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing an officer.

The Department of Corrections issued a statement Friday, saying that after a review of the pending charges, Butt was being required to visit her probation agent once a week instead of twice a month.

The Department of Corrections review looked at risks of Butt remaining free and at her “needs,” the statement said.

The statement noted that Butt was required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet after she was released from the Walworth County Jail, but that was not a change, as she had been electronically monitored since she was convicted.

“This process is consistent with any offenders on supervision,” according to the statement.

Reddy declined to comment on the department's action.

Speaking in general about how the law works, the judge said the department would have to revoke someone's probation before the prison sentence could be imposed.

“Once a person is sentenced, they are really out of our hands, out of our control,” Reddy said.

Butt is free on a $10,000 signature bond on the new charges. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.

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