LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A Georgia man abruptly ended his homicide trial and entered a guilty plea to avoid the possibility of receiving the death penalty if convicted, his lawyer said.
Public defender Gladys Haynes Pollard said Richard Ringold consulted with his defense team during a mid-afternoon break Tuesday and decided it was in his best interest to plead guilty, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Ringold took the action before young Nhaje Alexander took the witness stand to tell what happened on Aug. 27, 2009 when her mother, an 11-year-old sister and two others were gunned down.
Earlier, police and paramedics testified that Nhaje, who was 4-years-old at the time of the killings, came downstairs with her hands up when the attackers entered her Lawrenceville, Ga. home.
She told them "Rich shot my family." They said the child had placed Band-Aids over her own bullet wounds.
Nhaje was prepared to testify against Ringold when the trial came to a halt.
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers said she would allow the plea change to spare the little girl any further victimization.
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
ABUJA, Nigeria, May 25 (UPI) --The Nigerian army says it destroyed camps used by Islamist militants to coordinate attacks against communities in northeastern regions of the country.
JAKARTA, May 25 (UPI) --South Korean pop star Psy will perform in Indonesia at a concert celebrating diplomatic ties between the two countries, his management agency said Saturday.
LOS ANGELES, May 25 (UPI) --A hamburger brand known for its size and its status among celebrities, Fatburger, is about to go national, said the company, which was started in California.