Preliminary hearing continued for Brookside murder suspect

Crimes and Courts

UPDATE June 20:

A continuance has been granted for the preliminary hearing of Rudolph Galberth Jr.

Galberth Jr., 36, is accused of shooting and killing Amy Butler last week in Brookside.

Belmont County Northern Division Court Judge Chris Berhalter granted the defense’s motion for a continuance. The hearing has been rescheduled for July 11 at 10:30 a.m.

The defense also asked for Galberth’s bond to be lowered from $1 million, but that motion was denied.


ORIGINAL:

A Belmont County court official confirms the man charged with murdering Amy Butler is her husband.

That official tells 7News that county records show the couple was married in 2016.

Bridgeport Police Chief John Bumba says Butler was shot several times in the torso, and that the murder occurred outdoors in the driveway, where the body was found.

In the meantime, the murder suspect, Rudolph Galberth, had his first court appearance today.

Galberth, 36, appeared by video from jail, in his initial appearance in Western Division Court.

He was told he’s facing a charge of murder.

“Now that unclassified felony is punishable by up to a life sentence with parole eligibility only after 15 years,” said Judge Eric Costine.

His preliminary hearing is set for June 20.

“Mr. Galberth, are you intending to hire counsel to represent you in this matter or are you asking for appointed counsel?” the judge asked.

“I can’t afford a lawyer,” Galberth answered.

“Are you currently employed?” the judge inquired.

“Yes,” Galberth replied.

But he said he’d only been employed by the Teamsters for two weeks.

Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan asked that Galberth’s bond be set at $1 million.

Galberth had no comment.

The judge set it at $1 million.

If he should post bond, the conditions would be to obey the law, attend all hearings and to have no contact with the family of Amy Butler.

Her family members attended the hearing, sitting quietly in the courtroom. They continue to need help with funeral expenses.

They have set up a GoFundMe account.

To donate, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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