Charges dismissed for BASE jumper cited after wife's death
ZION NATIONAL PARK — Charges have been dropped against the BASE jumper who was cited for the jump that killed his wife.
Charges against Clayton Butler, 29, for BASE jumping off a natural feature were dropped Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced. The charge had been filed Saturday, the same day his wife of two weeks fell to her death.
"To be sure, BASE jumping in Zion National Park is unlawful, and this tragic BASE jumping accident underscores some of the reasoning behind the regulations which prohibit such conduct in Zion National Park," said Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. "Nevertheless, the interests of justice do not warrant prosecution of Mr. Butler."
Butler and his wife, 28-year-old Amber Marie Bellows, were attempting an estimated 2,000-foot jump off Mount Kinesava on Saturday when Bellows' parachute failed to open. Butler jumped after his wife but was unable to reach her.
The newlywed couple were experienced BASE jumpers.
The misdemeanor citation carried a potential fine of up to $5,000 or six months in jail, according to park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus. The accident was the first fatality in Zion this year and the first ever BASE jumping incident in the park, Baltrus said Sunday.
Friends of Butler and Bellows set up a fundraising campaign to help pay for Bellows' funeral. As of Wednesday evening, more than $7,500 had been raised.
— McKenzie Romero
- Boy Scouts in Utah, nation face uncertain future
- LDS Church relationship with Boy Scouts in...
- Sandy mailman's plea for books gets worldwide...
- Utah natives receive rave reviews, make 'So...
- Wright Words: Younger sister is living...
- Which U.S. cities are the best for upward...
- Body found in suitcase near Saltair identified
- LDS Church 're-evaluating' Scouting program...
- LDS Church relationship with Boy Scouts... 289
- Boy Scouts in Utah, nation face... 128
- LDS Church 're-evaluating' Scouting... 101
- Mike Lee plotting tricky maneuver to... 88
- Profane and acclaimed: 'The Book of... 73
- Most Utahns oppose Supreme Court ruling... 65
- Lee takes on new strategy in fight... 45
- Is report on building prison in Draper... 35