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Man pleads guilty to killing Oregon police chief

The man accused of killing Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter in 2011 has changed his plea to guilty.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 1:18 PM

ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) -- The man accused of killing the police chief of a small Oregon town in 2011 has changed his plea to guilty.

KOIN reports that Daniel Butts, of Kalama, Washington, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder and two counts of attempted murder in the fatal shooting. He also entered a guilty except for insanity plea to several other charges.

Authorities say Butts fatally shot 55-year-old Ralph Painter, the police chief of Rainier. Painter was responding to an attempted theft at a car audio store.

Butts was first sent to the Oregon State Hospital in 2013 after being found unable to aid and assist in his own defense. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after.

The Columbia County Circuit Court previously said Butts' symptoms had "greatly diminished" as a result of his current hospitalization and forced medication. In July 2018 he was found competent to stand trial.

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