Jockey Bryson Butterfly Arrested on Murder Charges

Bryson Butterfly | Coady

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In a press release issued July 14, the U.S. Marshall's Service reported that 18-year-old jockey Bryson Butterfly was arrested Thursday for allegedly being involved in a murder that took place Apr. 23 in Baltimore County.

Butterfly was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Mountain State Fugitive Task Force (MSFTF), in Harpers Ferry, WV near Charles Town Racetrack. He had ridden the night before at Penn National.

Butterfly is one of three suspects charged with first degree murder and robbery. Butterfly's two co-conspirators had previously been arrested and are currently in the Baltimore County Detention Center. Butterfly is currently being held at the Eastern Regional Jail to await his extradition to Maryland.

The Baltimore County Prosecutors Office requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Task Force (CARTF) in locating and apprehending Butterfly. The investigation revealed Butterfly had fled the area and was residing  in Jefferson County, WV.

“This case illustrates how well U.S. Marshals offices across the nation work together with other state and local agencies to locate and remove violent subjects from the community,” said Acting U.S. Marshal Terry Moore.

According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, the shooting killed 17-year-old Elias Cieslak and was described in court records as a drug deal and armed robbery gone bad. Cieslak was a student at Parkville High School.

On June 28, police arrested David Lofton, 32, on charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and use of a firearm in a felony. A minor was also charged, but that person has not been identified because he is a minor.

Butterfly is a Native American who grew up on the Colville Indian reservation in Washington. He began riding at age 16 and bounced around among tracks in the West and Midwest. He arrived in Maryland in 2021 and began to ride at Laurel, Pimlico, Charles Town and Penn National. He has had 771 career mounts with 58 winners. He is 6-for-158 on the year.

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