ANADARKO, Okla. (KFOR) – A run from the law ends with a woman dead and a driver facing a second-degree murder charge.
“She was a ride-or-die, she was gonna ride or die with you, and that’s the way she was. And that’s what ended up happening,” said Michelle Wendling, the victim’s friend.
Wendling was talking about Billie Jean ‘BJ’ Butler.
“I’m kind of like a mother to her,” said Wendling. “She was full of like, life and energy and spirit and she was beautiful.”
Wendling said the mother and grandmother was dating Justin ‘Chase’ Milford, 35, who’s now locked up in the Caddo County Jail on second-degree murder charges.
“If she had to walk, she’d follow him all over town,” said Wendling.
Early in the morning on September 9, Anadarko Police said they tried to pull Milford and Butler over for an expired tag after spotting Milford’s car “at two separate houses known for drugs.”
Instead of pulling over, investigators said Milford took off. Milford later told police Butler called him names and “began telling him to go because she had a warrant.”
“She felt like they were about to close in on her,” said Wendling.
Officers said both doors opened and Milford jumped out of the moving car. But when Butler tried to jump out, she “was pinned between the seat, the door, and the bridge barrier.”
She was alive but the officer “felt if he moved the vehicle at all it could do more harm to her.”
Butler didn’t survive.
“Someone called me about 6 hours later saying, ‘Did you hear about BJ dying last night’ and I just went numb,” said Wendling.
Two days later, investigators found Milford in a Cyril home.
According to court documents, Milford “killed the engine while still in motion” when he jumped out.
Milford allegedly told investigators “he took off running under the bridge into some trees. He stated that he jumped out because he did not want to run anymore and figured BJ could take the vehicle and run. He stated that he never meant to hurt BJ.”
“If he’d said ‘go’ she would’ve drove,” said Wendling. “These young kids, they’re just so wild and crazy and they end up losing their lives and we’re left behind to hurt.”
Butler’s sister was too upset to talk to News 4 on camera, but sent us the following statement.
Bj was a ray of absolute sunshine who never met a stranger. Funny, charming, and kind beyond measure. She had this otherwordly magnetism that kept people (not always the best) in her orbit. Little did we know this would be her downfall. She will be sorely missed by so many.Chelsea Guest
Milford is now facing charges of second-degree murder and attempting to elude officers.