You are the owner of this article.
Man found not guilty of tampering with evidence in death of Cornhusker Marching Band member

Man found not guilty of tampering with evidence in death of Cornhusker Marching Band member


A Lancaster County jury has found a Lincoln man not guilty of tampering with evidence in a fatal car wreck that killed a 20-year-old Cornhusker Marching Band member in October.

Vancordeyah Watson, 26, was acquitted Friday afternoon at the end of a two-day trial, according to court records.

Prosecutors had charged Watson, alleging he tried to get rid of two baggies of marijuana after the car he was riding in struck a car near the former Blue Blood Brewing Co., where the pep band had performed Oct. 26, the night before the Husker football team's game against Bethune-Cookman.

Tyler Butterfield, a 2016 Norfolk High School graduate, died at the scene.

On Wednesday, Watson's attorney, Joy Shiffermiller, said he was grateful to have the opportunity to have his case heard by the jury.

"We are pleased that the jury listened carefully to the evidence and understood that Mr. Watson's reaction to the horrible accident was human and normal and not in any way an attempt to interfere with the investigation of the accident,” she said.

The driver, Waltrivelish Watson, is awaiting trial on motor vehicle homicide involving reckless or willful reckless driving, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. Investigators say he was going 92 mph 3 seconds before he hit a Corolla at Nebraska 2 and Arapahoe Street. Vancordeyah Watson and Waltrivelish Watson are cousins.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger.


Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News

Husker News