SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An 18-year-old former Highlands High School football player has been formally charged with murder and attempted rape in connection with the beating death of an 86-year-old Sacramento woman.
Fusako Petrus was on her morning walk with a friend when she was beaten to death last week.
Neven Glen Butler, 18, showed no emotion while being formally charged with the murder and attempted rape of 86-year-old Fusako Petrus, and the sexual assault of the friend she defended when she was beaten to death.
Dressed in a green jumpsuit, indicating he's in protective custody, Butler's attorney says, his mental state is "serious."
"Mental status is an issue that will be considered in the case," said attorney Linda Parisi.
Outside the court, Butler's mother was too distraught to speak. Two of his friends tell CBS13 off camera they've known the former high-school football player since he was a kid and have his back.
Vicki Butler came for her friend.
"I want Fusako to be remembered for the wonderful life that she had, and the good friend that she was," said Vicki Butler.
Vicki says Fusako lost her life being a great friend, protecting her younger walking partner on the tracks of Highlands High School, during their morning walk on Wednesday.
Now, a framed picture of Fusako sits against a bed of flowers and notes on the track gate.
School officials say the track is back open. But many students are still too shaken to step foot there.
"It's gonna be weird running right there where someone unfortunately died," said Jose Castillo.
Butler was not granted bail, and is scheduled to reappear in court next month.
That's also when Fusako will be remembered in a public funeral. Friends organizing the services say they're waiting on family to arrive from Japan. The Japanese Consulate is expected to pay its respects too.
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