Court Docs: Suspect helped shooter escape arrest after killing of Cowlitz County deputy

Matthew Veatch appears in court via video feed on Monday, April 15 - KATU image.

Investigators say the 33-year-old who fatally shot a Cowlitz County deputy on Saturday night received help from another man in his attempt to evade law enforcement.

Deputy Justin DeRosier, 29, died in the hospital after he was shot Saturday night responding to a parking complaint for a motorhome on Fallert Road, a rural road near Kalama, Washington.

Authorities say the shooter, identified Monday as Brian Butts, was shot and killed a few miles away after an extensive manhunt that lasted through Sunday.

In court Monday, prosecutors said Matthew Veatch helped Butts escape by hiding his handgun and helping Butts get to a barn to hide out.

According to a probable cause document, Veatch was found at about 2 a.m. Sunday looking “disheveled and muddy.” He was taken into custody as a person of interest in the case.

Court documents state that investigators had several recorded interviews with Veatch. He claimed that he was at his home on Fallert Road when he heard gunfire. A short time later his brother, Michael Veatch, arrived in a vehicle and “appeared more serious than normal.”

Veatch told police Brian Butts came out of the bushes near his home about 10 minutes later, the affidavit states, adding that Butts gave him a gun to “get rid of.”

Matthew told authorities he put the handgun in a gun cabinet in his bedroom before leading Butts away from his house on foot.

The court records show that Veatch admitted to leading Butts through the dark woods for several hours to an abandoned barn. During that time Butts reportedly said he “had shot a cop.”

Veatch was found along Modrow Road after he had separated from Butts.

The judge set Matthew Veatch’s bail at $50,000. He's due back in court for arraignment on April 30.

Prosecutors said Michael Veatch was arrested on an unrelated charge.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off