GALLIPOLIS — Joshua Buttrick, 28, of Gallipolis, was sentenced to six years in a state facility by Judge Margaret Evans after pleading guilty to second-degree felonious assault in the Gallia Court of Common Pleas, Tuesday.
While living, the late Miranda Thompson, then 33 and Buttrick’s former significant other, was previously discovered by law enforcement with significant injuries and bruising which led her to being hospitalized at Saint Mary’s Medical Center in October of last year. Buttrick reportedly gave a number of statements to law enforcement and admitted to hitting and kicking and being the cause of those injuries, said Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren.
Miranda was reported as missing October 13, 2018 after leaving Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va. Miranda’s deceased body was discovered as part of a joint investigation between Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Gallipolis Police Department and Gallia Sheriff’s Office in a wooded area in Gallipolis Township, November 4, 2018.
“As far as her death goes, that is an investigation separate from this case,” said Holdren. “To speak to the sentence, that is a sentence that myself and my staff, we had met extensively with the family (of Miranda Thompson) on the case, kept them informed and got their wishes and input on it throughout the process. This is a resolution that they desired for the reason that it’s a sure thing and it provides closure and accountability for his actions that led to (Miranda’s) injuries. They understood the risks of a trial and understood the emotional element of a trial and uncertainty. After weighing all that, they decided that they would like to have the conviction and argue for a six-year sentence.”
Buttrick, at max, could have received eight years in prison.
Holdren had previously represented Buttrick in West Virginia on an unrelated matter. The court did not find that to be in conflict with Buttrick’s case, however, Holdren stepped back to allow Gallia Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Fisher to oversee the state’s representation in the hearing when Buttrick’s counsel mentioned the previous representation for the court’s record.
“Miranda was a strong-willed person and was never afraid to tell you how she felt about things,” said Kelly Riggs, Miranda’s sister, in a victim impact statement before the court. “Over the past year of her life, I began to notice that she started to stay away from everyone. She would lock herself in her room so no one could see her. Yes, Miranda had her issues with drug addiction but she had been sober for several years. I believed she started using again because she was being abused by Josh Buttrick. I don’t know when he started abusing my sister. I only began to notice the bruising in the last year of her life when they became more noticeable. I know it was getting worse when he was arrested last summer for assault and battery. I was hoping that she would stay away from him after that, but as most abuse victims, they go back to their abuser for whatever reason. Here we are now. My sister was found naked and beaten nearly to death. She was taken to the hospital and had to be on a ventilator and we did not know whether she would live or die.”
Riggs went on to say that in her opinion Buttrick was a narcissist and a sociopath who was reportedly selling Miranda’s purses on social media shortly after her entry into the hospital.
“She left the hospital Saturday, October 13, with her attacker,” Riggs continued. “Monday, October 15, (she was discovered missing) and the last person she was seen with alive was the person who nearly beat her to death, Josh Buttrick. I understand we are not here for what happened to her when she was missing. We’re here for the assault that occurred. I saw my sister laying in the ER on a ventilator and her only son seeing his mother in the ER on a ventilator fighting for her life. We saw the bruises where he kicked and hit her. We saw the boot print of when he stomped on her while she was on the ground…”
Riggs said she felt Buttrick was a manipulative person. She said if it were up to her, he would never see the light of day, but agreed to the six-year sentence plea arrangement requested by the prosecution and felt most strongly for Miranda’s three children.
Miranda’s mother, Mona Thompson, made a brief statement saying she had heard the fighting and saw bruising. She said when Buttrick was not “at the house,” he was calling Miranda constantly wanting to know what she was doing and who was around.
“He wanted to control everybody in the house,” said Mona. She said she felt the time wouldn’t be enough.
Prosecuting attorneys said that Miranda was placed in a neurotrauma care center. She reportedly had an L-3 spinal fracture, multiple bruises throughout her body, eyes swollen shut, pieces of her scalp missing, while also being on a ventilator. She was reportedly discovered by Gallipolis police with a weak pulse and laying on her doorstep. The officer reportedly began CPR on her until paramedics arrived. She was then taken to Holzer Medical Center before ending up at Saint Mary’s Medical Center.
Buttrick was represented by defense counsel Andrew Noe and Barbara Wallen. Counsel said that Buttrick was aware of his actions and that he did feel remorseful for them.
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Miranda’s death is still ongoing. Miranda was a 2004 graduate of Point Pleasant High School.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.