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'We must protect our children' -- Calls for justice getting louder for slain teen

Krieg Butler is charged with the murder of a 13-year-old boy. (WSYX)
Krieg Butler is charged with the murder of a 13-year-old boy. (WSYX)
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The family of 13-year old Sinzae Reed, who was shot dead back in October at the Wedgewood apartments, is raising questions about the investigation.

Their concerns are getting the attention of local activists, community leaders and politicians. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty on Thursday shared a simple message on Twitter: "We must protect our children."

Thirty-six-year-old Krieg Butler was arrested days after the shooting. Police said a witness saw Butler exit a truck, fire shots at Reed, and then drive off. It has not been confirmed whether Butler and Reed knew each other or what led to the gunfire.

In court, prosecutors revealed that Butler told police he fired shots in self-defense. Charges against him eventually were dismissed.

ABC 6 reached out to the Franklin County prosecutor's office for more insight on the case, and was referred to a press release the prosecutor's office issued in October about the case:

The Municipal Court does not have jurisdiction to hear felony cases except for a limited period of time. It is standard practice for almost every felony case filed in Municipal Court to be dismissed. Not every case initiated in Municipal Court is presented to the Grand Jury. If the case is submitted to our office for review, we review the investigation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed and whether it is appropriate to pursue the case. The only time limitation is the statute of limitations, which is several years. This particular case is still under review for possible presentation to the Grand Jury, and unfortunately, I cannot advise you when the case will be presented to the Grand Jury.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office told ABC 6 that no further statements will be provided.

Through Franklin County Municipal Court records, ABC 6 discovered that Butler has past legal issues for domestic violence and receiving stolen property.

Saturday night, Columbus police issued the following statement:

On October 12, 2022, the Columbus Division of Police responded to 832 Wedgewood Dr. on a shooting, where officers found 13 year old, Sin’Zae Reed suffering from gunshot wounds. Officers rendered aid until Mr. Reed was transported to an area hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Columbus Police Detectives interviewed numerous witnesses and filed murder charges on Krieg Butler on October 13th, 2022. Mr. Butler was ultimately arrested and slated in the Franklin County Jail.

During the Homicide review of the investigation, there was an allegation made by Mr. Butler that he acted in self-defense. The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, upon learning of this information, dismissed the charges against Mr. Butler pending the completion of the investigation. The Columbus Division of Police does not dismiss charges. We continue to investigate the circumstances of Mr. Reed’s death with the help of outside entities and are still awaiting key forensic and ballistic evidence.

Once the investigation is complete, we will submit the packet to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, who will determine whether to present to the Grand Jury.

We are aware of the community’s concerns regarding the investigation and want to ensure the community that this investigation is far from over. The detectives assigned to the case are working diligently to present a complete and thorough investigation to the Franklin County Prosecutor. We ask for patience during this time. Once we are able to provide more information, we will. We have promised transparency and will continue to provide information when it can be released.

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