Testimony starts in trial of Rochester man accused of killing East High School student

Posted at: 05/01/2013 6:48 AM | Updated at: 05/01/2013 6:15 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com

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Amazing investigative work, that's what officials say led up to the arrest of a man who is now on trial for the murder of a East High School junior.

The trial for Devonte Lively began Wednesday with opening statements. He's accused of killing 17-year-old Larie Butler. Butler was missing for a week before being found in a backyard pool in Irondequoit.

News10NBC learned more about how investigators found Larie Butler's body in the pool in March of last year. News10NBC also heard emotional testimony from Larie's mother.

The day Larie went missing, her family went to Devonte Lively's house to ask him where she was. Larie had told her mother they were going to the mall. Larie's mother was in tears when she told the jury what Lively kept telling her, “I swear to God, ma'am. I don't know where she is. I dropped her off at East High School."

An investigator took the stand and said the day after Larie went missing he was assigned her case. He pulled both Larie and Lively's cell phone records. Laries's last call was made the night of March 24 at 7:06p.m.  According to cell towers, she was in Irondequoit.
     
A few days later, the investigator received a warrant to search the inside of Devonte's grandmother's home, who lived in Irondequoit. He said he visually searched the first floor, then went into the basement and noticed a sofa in the middle of the room facing away from the television. He then noticed a stain under the sofa he believed to be blood and also what he called a drag mark to the back door and outside.
      
The investigator then searched outside, saying the neighbor's pool was an obvious choice for where someone might hide a body. But he thought, because it had a cover, it wouldn't be possible to get a body inside the pool. After he noticed one brick out of place, he called for the pool to be drained and that's when they found the body of 17-year-old Larie Butler.
     
Her mother said she believed right away that Lively was responsible.

Karen Snipes, Larie's mother, said, “I feel he knows something, cause that was the only person she was with. My daughter would not leave with nobody else. Nobody else, not unless she would call me and tell me. That is one thing she wouldn't do. She would not go nowhere with anyone else. That's why I'm determined and  I know and I feel he did this to my daughter."

The trial is expected to last a few weeks. There are 50 witnesses on the list to be called. But the defense says not one of them is an eyewitness. They stand by the fact that most of the evidence does not point to Lively.

News10NBC obtained a portion of the 911 call. It is from when Butler's family showed up to Lively's house to ask where she was after she did not return home. That's when a fight broke out.
   
News10NBC will continue to cover this trial closely and bring you any updates.

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