Last March, Windi Thomas, 44, got into an altercation with her boyfriend, Keeno Butler, also 44, at their home in Eerie, Pennsylvania. Thomas stabbed Butler's hand with a knife and beat him in the head with a wooden table leg. Then Thomas, who weighs over 300 pounds, sat on her 120 pound boyfriend's chest, suffocating him. Thomas said she placed her head on the couch so that a portion of her body would be on Butler's head, according to the police.
Butler’s death was ruled a homicide "caused by respiratory insufficiency secondary to blunt force trauma to the neck and thoracic compression, exacerbated by blunt force trauma to the head," according to the affidavit, GoEerie.com reported. Thomas told police that before the confrontation, she had been drinking and was looking to purchase crack-cocaine, Eerie News Now reported.
Thomas pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. Pennsylvania law defines third-degree murder as a murder that is neither first-degree murder ("criminal homicide...committed by an intentional killing") nor second-degree murder ("committed while defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony"). (Meanwhile, manslaughter is "the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought.") Thomas originally faced a recommended sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison, but as a result of the plea deal, prosecutors are recommending 18 to 36 years.
Thomas' court-appointed attorney, Mark Del Duca, told GoErie, "It's a good result based upon the facts of the case. I think it's fair for both sides." However, the victim's sister, Sandra Jean Butler disagreed, stating, "I feel like she should have 40 [years] or more. She deserved life." According to Sandra, Windi and and Keeno had been dating for two years, and had a troubled relationship. "It was something that was going to happen," said Sandra. "They even stayed at my house and I asked her, 'don't kill my brother'."
According to Keeno "Loco" Butler's obituary in the Meadville Tribune, he enjoyed pets, music, dancing, working, and spending time with family. He is survived by his mother Margaret, his daughter Adele Brown, two grandchildren Avebeanna and Amia Brown, plus nine siblings, including Sandra. Thomas is currently awaiting sentencing in Eerie County State Prison.
It's too bad Windi Thomas and Keeno Butler continued their toxic relationship, despite how many troubling warning signs were apparent to the people around them. Domestic abuse can be perpetrated by either partner, and violent acts can be committed with common household items - in this case, a knife and the wooden leg of a table. And the fatal crushing of Keeno Butler required no weapon at all.