UPDATE: 4:40 P.M. EST
Richard Ringold has just pleaded guilty to the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend, Antonia Butler, her 11-year-old daughter and two adults in 2009. Ringold enter guilty pleas to four counts of murder, aggravated assault and possession of firearm. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
The Nhaje Butler was set to testify against Ringold before he entered a guilty plea.
Three years after her entire family was shot dead in their Lawrenceville, Ga., home, the brave, 7-year-old girl is set to tell a jury who did it, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutional reports.
On Monday, emergency responders testified in a Gwinnett County courtroom that Nhaje Butler (pictured) was the first person that told them who shot her and her family.
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Police also say that Nhaje was able to identify her now deceased mother’s boyfriend, Richard Ringold, as the shooter after they arrived at her home in August of 2009.
According to prosecutors, Ringold shot Antonia Butler after they got into an argument over his alleged adultery at her home on Aug. 27, 2009. He then turned his attention to the rest of the home’s occupants, shooting everyone in sight–including Nhaje.
She was the only survivor.
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After police arrived and began searching the home, they heard shuffling noises from upstairs and demanded for anyone in the home to come out with their hands up. Little Nhaje stepped from behind a stair rail and told them that “he’s gone.”Gwinnett County Police Sgt. Kevin Eisenhouer testified in court that she calmly told officers on the scene that “Rich killed my whole family.”
Nhaje’s mom, Atania Butler, 28, her sister Jhane, 11, and the mom’s live-in roommate, Rico Zimmerman, 19, were killed during the shooting. Ringold is also accused of killing LaKeisha Parker, 30, a blind and mentally challenged woman that Zimmerman had been hired to care.
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The Journal Constitution has more:
Eisenhouer said he covered the Nhaje’s eyes because he didn’t want her to see the body of her mother, Atania Butler, 28, sprawled across the threshold of the front door. Eisenhouer told the jury that he had to step over the body to get outside because the back door was blocked by Zimmerman’s body. The little girl was grasping his neck so tightly that she nearly choked him, he said. Finally, he handed her to a female neighbor, who passed Nhaje off to a waiting paramedic.
Gwinnett firefighter/EMT Adam Hawkins testified that there were only a few small spots of blood on her T-shirt.
She asked the paramedics not to cut off the shirt because it was her favorite, and said that her mom had given it to her, Hawkins said. After the paramedics carefully lifted the shirt over her head, they saw that the little girl had been shot through the chest near the clavicle and through the left shoulder. There were Band-aids on her arm and upper chest that Nhaje had evidently placed there in a childish attempt to dress her own wounds, Hawkins said.
The EMT also said the little girl told him that Ringold shot her mother in the nose during the shooting. Nhaje was expected to testify today.
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