Teen killed by suspected drunk driver was 'real gentleman,' grandma says

21-year-old driver charged with DUI Sunday night; teen's body found Monday

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A heartbroken grandmother in Glynn County says her grandson, whose life was cut tragically short by a suspected drunk driver, will be remembered for his bright smile and big heart.

Jacob Butts, 15, was hit and killed Sunday night, investigators said. His body was discovered Monday morning on Lakes Drive near Baumgardner Road.

"You couldn't find a more pleasant, polite -- real gentleman," said Rosa Hill, the teen's grandmother. "He was not only my grandson, he was my friend. He was my buddy."

Nicole Enke lives in the area where Butts' body was found. She said Butts, a Glynn Academy student and member of JROTC, often visited her niece.

"Very nice kid," Enke said. "I was shocked when I heard about it."

Butts' family is holding on to his memory. Hill, however, is also holding one photo in particular very close to her heart.

"Jacob was sitting on the couch looking at his telephone, which is what young kids like to do, and I snapped a photo of him," Hill said. "He didn't even know that I took it, and that was the last picture I took of him."

Butts was a skateboarder who played guitar and loved to draw. In addition to his grandmother, he leaves behind his parents, his sister and his brother.

The teen's family hopes to carry on his memory by urging others not to drink and drive.

On Monday, the Georgia State Patrol added charges of vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident causing death to a woman already in jail on a DUI charge. Glynn County Police determined the teenager was struck Sunday night by a vehicle driven by Madisyn Culpepper. 

Police said Culpepper was arrested on a DUI charge after she was involved in a collision about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of U.S. Highway 82 and Baumgardner Road. Police said that a state-administered test showed her blood alcohol level at 0.22, more than double the legal limit. Police determined that Culpepper struck and killed Butts just prior to causing the crash on U.S. Highway 82.

Glynn County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Madisyn Culpepper

Family told News4Jax a visitation will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Butts' funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Edo Miller Funeral and Sons Funeral Home in Brunswick. 

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.