Parents Of Slain Couple React To Guilty Verdict

Whitney Butler and SSG David Dunlap

The families of a slain Colorado Springs couple says they feel a sense of justice now that the killer has been convicted.

Pregnant Whitney Butler and her husband, Fort Carson Staff Sergeant David Dunlap, were shot after surprising a burglar in January 2013. The teen who pulled the trigger was found guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday.

For the families, Tuesday's verdict brought some peace--an emotion that had been missing ever since then-17-year-old Macyo January fired the gun on that winter afternoon.

Kevin Butler was hundreds of miles away when he got a call from ADT that his daughter's home alarm system was going off in Colorado Springs.

"I was on the call list for the burglar alarm...I was at work in southeast Virginia when the call came in.

"I arrived home about 30 minutes later and called ADT, and they let me know that...alarm had gone off and they had nor yet contacted David or Whitney. They summoned the police and they were responding.

"That was the last we knew. We had called Whitney and David on their cell phones and texted them and heard nothing back."

Until Whitney's father got a knock at the door several hours later.

"The Chesapeake police showed up at our door step about five minutes before midnight. When I saw a police chaplain, a sergeant and an officer, I knew the worst was coming."

But it was even worse than he thought.

"The only question I had: was it Whitney or David? We weren't expecting both."

The devastation of losing both children and their unborn grandchild was made even worse when face-to-face with January during his trial.

"It was hard to look at him everyday and see him living while our kids are gone. And the family will never be able to hold our grandchild and our children will never be able to see their daughter," David's mother Marilyn Dunlap said.

"It is difficult to sit in the same courtroom with someone who was accused of murdering your children, but on the other hand we were anxious to get this trial over with to get a guilty verdict," Kevin concurred.

After the verdict was read, mother and father said they were relieved.

"I hope he gets the maximum without parole, and then he can think about this, every day of his life, what he did," Marilyn said after the verdict was read.

"I believe that the prosecution did their job in that and I thank the jury for their service and efforts...I believe we got a just a rightful verdict today," Kevin said.

The families take comfort in knowing their children were happy up to the day they died.

"For the short time that they had together, at least I knew both of them had love and happiness...they were just ideal, they were just so perfect for each other," Marilyn said.

"We will continue...honor their memories by not letting it make us bitter or vengeful or hateful," Marie Butler, Whitney's mother, said.

"These people will not be forgotten."