Bond’s Reputed Girlfriend Found Guilty
The reputed girlfriend of civil rights activist Julian Bond was convicted Friday of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, the less serious of two possible drug counts.
The foreman of the DeKalb County Superior Court jury, the Rev. Gary L. Smith, said jurors might have decided more favorably for Carmen Lopez Butler if she had testified or if Bond had taken the stand.
Bond’s estranged wife, Alice, charged earlier this year that Butler had supplied him with cocaine. Bond has denied using drugs.
Butler was arrested at her home on Nov. 17, and police said they found an estimated $120,000 worth of cocaine in a bedroom.
Judge Hilton Fuller scheduled Butler’s sentencing for Tuesday. The maximum sentence on the charge of possession with intent to distribute is 30 years in prison.
The jury could have chosen to convict Butler of cocaine trafficking, which carries a mandatory fine and higher mandatory minimum prison sentence, prosecutors said.
Prosecutor Steve Roberts had argued that Butler’s way of life, including frequent cross-country flights and several late-model cars, “screams of drug trafficking.” He said she could not live that way on her income from selling business telephone systems.