Girlfriend sentenced to 15 years for killing of former SC State football player

Girlfriend sentenced to 15 years for killing of former SC State football player
Ashley Renee Butler has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the killing of a former SC State football player.

28-year-old Ashley Renee Butler of Johnston, SC pled guilty Tuesday to Voluntary Manslaughter for the shooting death of her live-in boyfriend, Otis Matthew Key, Jr., age 25.

Butler was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Voluntary Manslaughter is classified as a violent, most serious crime and a “no parole” offense.

Ashley Renee Butler has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Ashley Renee Butler has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"Since I took office last year, one of my goals has been to resolve old cases pending in the 11th Circuit. I am thankful that this family now has closure for their loss,” Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard said.

On April 26, 2013, Butler shot and killed Key in the home they shared for approximately a year on Lanier Road in Johnston, SC. On that morning, a neighbor called 911 after Butler came out of the residence stating that Key had been shot.

Butler’s account of how the shooting occurred when she shot him was not supported by the physical evidence obtained by law enforcement.

Butler and Key began their relationship while they both were attending Strom Thurmond High School in Edgefield County. Upon graduation in 2006, Key enrolled at SC State University where he played football up until he graduated in May of 2010. The couple has two sons together.

Matt Key, former SC State football player, was killed by Ashley Butler.
Matt Key, former SC State football player, was killed by Ashley Butler. (Source: Solicitor's office)

During sentencing, Key’s parents addressed the Court. They expressed that they are thankful to finally have closure.

Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Sutania A. Fuller and Deputy Solicitor Al Eargle handled the prosecution of this case.

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