Northampton man sentenced to 20 years for Calvin Butts stabbing

The 26-year-old Northampton man who pleaded guilty last month in the 2009 stabbing death of childhood friend Calvin Butts was sentenced to 20 years in prison plus five years probation Tuesday.

Jermaine Holmes pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter. He had originally pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges after turning himself in to police last June. If convicted of that charge, he
would have faced 25 years to life in prison.

Mr. Butts, 26, a Riverhead High School graduate, former basketball player and honor student, had just eaten at the Hampton Bays Diner May 24, 2009, with his brother and friends, authorities said. The group was leaving about 4 a.m. when a fight erupted outside. Mr. Butts was knifed from behind during the melee, after which the suspects fled the area. He was transported by ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead where he died.

Evidence against Mr. Holmes included admissions he made to “a civilian,” an autopsy report that revealed five stab wounds to the victim’s back and one to his shoulder and the recovery of what prosecutors believe to be a weapon, Suffolk County assistant district attorney Jim Chalifoux told the News-Review last year.