GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man twice convicted of murder and now charged with a third in Jackson County allegedly told another inmate he has killed people all over Michigan, including in Grand Rapids, MLive reports.
In court on Monday, according to MLive, a Jackson County prosecutor said Cortez Butler told a codefendant in a previous homicide, “I got bodies in Grand Rapids, Flint, Ohio and Jackson.” The other inmate told authorities he thinks Butler is a “hit man.”
Grand Rapids police told 24 Hour News 8 that while there’s no indication that Butler is connected to any particular case, they’re not letting a statement like that go without additional follow-up. The Kent Metro Cold Case Team is also interested in talking to Butler.
The homicide for which Butler is currently standing trial is linked to solicitation of murder, prosecutors say. Butler, 43, is accused of stabbing and killing 28-year-old Frances Craig in August 2014, according to MLive.
Two other men — uncle and nephew Clifford and Rodney McKee — are also charged with murder in that case, according to MLive. Prosecutors say they hired Butler to kill a Jackson man who said he saw them commit an arson. Butler allegedly went to the home where he thought the man lived and found Craig there instead, tied her up and stabbed her at least 20 times.
Butler is already serving at least 25 years in a state prison after pleading no contest in the December 2014 shooting death of a 79-year-old Detroit-area man that investigators stemmed from a disagreement about payment for prescription drugs.
He previously served at least 20 years behind bars for a 1991 murder out of Wayne County, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records. It wasn’t immediately clear when he was released from prison in that case.