By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Please note that Martino didn't say he thought Butano was going to kill or that a mysterious hidden person was going to kill her—those claims came later. To help build their defense, the deputy also introduced the notion they'd entered the home because they saw a crossbow and feared for their safety. But that's a blatant lie. They couldn't have known of its existence until after they'd searched deep into the home. The crossbow, which had no arrows, was stored in a rear room that cannot be seen from the front door.
Despite the deputies' dramatic stories, there had been no emergency. The reason for the entry was simple and invalid: ego. Martino said it clearly to Butano after the arrest: "[The reason] you are in the back of my car [was that] I told you several times to get off that phone."
In his deposition, Martino amended his story. He said he entered the house because of yet another emergency: Stumph had gone inside, and he had followed to prevent Butano from harming him.
For his part, Stumph—who has retired, moved to Arizona and is now an anti-terrorism consultant—remains positive that he prevented a potential murder. Though he didn't cite the phsychic work of mutants, he claimed in his deposition that "I believe that Butano lured us" into her house "to possibly assault myself or Deputy Martino . . . [or kill] us."
In "The Majesty of the Law," former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor observed that the Bill of Rights "is part of the American contribution to the notion of justice and freedom." Our Founding Fathers' noble ideal will get tested with a likely cop-friendly Orange County jury at a scheduled September trial against the deputies. Until then, Butano isn't taking any chances. She moved her family out of state.
This article appeared in print as "'We're Here Investigating Something': Without smiling, Orange County Sheriff's deputies claim they attacked an OC mother in her home to save her."