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Judge denies request to withdraw guilty plea in murder case

| April 20, 2022

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 20, 2022) – A judge has denied a request from a 20-year-old Canton man to withdraw his guilty plea in a 2021 New Philadelphia murder case.

Sajjaad Butler pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in September for shooting and killing Gaven Carlisle in New Philadelphia in March 2021. That was part of a plea agreement that made Butler eligible for parole 30 years into a life sentence.

Butler in February asked to withdraw his guilty plea, saying his public attorneys did not adequately represent him.

Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest Friday ruled Butler has not provided enough evidence to prove his lawyers were ineffective.

Ernest appointed an attorney to represent Butler in any appeals.

Butler is simultaneously serving three sentences for three separate crimes – 30 years to life for murder, five to seven years for an assault in Canton involving a firearm, and nine months for assaulting a corrections officer at the Tuscarawas County Jail.

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