By Paresh Dave
12:56 PM PST, January 10, 2014
Two robbers convicted of fatally shooting an Echo Park medical marijuana dispensary employee in 2010 were sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Raymond Lemone Easter, 31, and Daniel Deshawn Hinton, 35, were convicted in November of one count of first-degree murder with a special circumstance allegation of murder during a robbery in the death of Matthew Butcher, 27.
Easter and Hinton were also convicted on an attempted murder charge for wounding the dispensary’s security guard, Urban Jones Jr.
Butcher’s mother, Julie, chronicled last year’s trial and the impending sentencing through the social media hashtag #JusticeForMateo. On Friday she reminisced to the court about her son's first words: ball and dog.
“For a while, our little world was divided into balls and dogs. He was a sweet baby, a delightful child, smart, stubborn and inquisitive,” Butcher said, according to her prepared remarks.
She said she still uses his deodorant every morning to remember the scent of her son.
“He’d give you the shirt off his back,” she said. “There was no reason to kill him, there was no need to kill him.”
Easter and Hinton fled the dispensary with security cameras, a hard drive, cash and $10,000 worth of marijuana, prosecutors said. But Easter returned to the store moments later and shot both victims, who were flat on the ground, in the back of their heads.
The Higher Path Holistic Care Collective dispensary later moved from the 1300 block of Sunset Boulevard to Sherman Oaks.
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