A man who injured four people in a brutal knife attack last summer in Abbotsford apologized on Thursday in court, saying he was highly intoxicated at the time of the assault.
“I let myself slip into a state that was not me,” William Butz, 35, said before being sentenced in Abbotsford provincial court to four years in prison on two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault causing bodily harm.
Butz, who previously pleaded guilty to the four charges, was given 13 months’ credit for the time he has served since his arrest on the day of the attack, leaving him with an additional 35 months in prison.
Judge Kenneth Skilnick said Butz’s state of intoxication at the time of the assault was not a mitigating factor in sentencing.
The court heard that Butz had been drinking alcohol and using drugs – including crack cocaine, crystal meth and MDMA – on July 26, 2014, when he went to the home of his ex-girlfriend, who was a tattoo artist and lived with her grandparents and mom on Springhill Court.
Butz (in photo at left) had remained friendly with the young woman, then 18, whom he had dated for two years, and the pair had made arrangements to go to a party.
A 19-year-old male friend was also at the residence, working on some tattoo designs.
When the woman saw that Butz was drunk and high on drugs, she told him she no longer wanted to go to the party.
The two began to argue. A large knife that had been left behind by a friend was in the room, and Butz put it in his back pocket to return to the owner.
Butz began walking toward the door to leave the residence when he abruptly turned around, punched his ex-girlfriend in the face, took the knife from his back pocket and attacked her.
Butz slashed her across the chin and left side of her face, and stabbed her in the right side of her head.
The male visitor lunged at Butz, who cut him across his hand from his wrist to his thumb, while the woman ran to the bathroom, where Butz again attacked her, this time across her forearm and top of her head.
The friend ran from the home and screamed for help. Two others – a 35-year-old man and the ex-girlfriend’s 37-year-old mother – ran into the room and attempted to stop Butz.
The man was stabbed in his hand, shoulder and head, while the mom was cut across her eyebrow and temple.
Butz was finally subdued when his ex-girlfriend struck him with a glass bowl, her grandfather hit him with his cane, and her grandmother grabbed the knife.
All four victims were taken to hospital – the ex-girlfriend was in critical condition at the time – and survived their injuries.
The court heard that Butz was hostile and aggressive when police arrived to arrest him. He spat at officers and tried to splash them with his urine while he was in custody. While having his wounds photographed, he displayed the middle fingers of both hands.
During his apology, Butz said his actions were not indicative of his normal character and had been fuelled by drugs and alcohol.
The two female victims were in the courtroom on Thursday and wept as Butz gave his statement.
“That wasn’t me. That wasn’t who I am. I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry I scared you. I’m sorry I betrayed your trust,” he said. “I hope over time that eventually you guys can forgive me.”
Butz’s lawyer said her client has been using drugs since the age of 15 and plans to seek treatment while in prison. She said he has also written letters of apology to all the victims.
In addition to his jail sentence, Butz received a lifetime ban on owning any weapons.