Man accused of killing 4 in Gwinnett Co. changes plea to guilty - CBS46 News

Man accused of killing 4 in Gwinnett County changes plea to guilty

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Richard Ringold Richard Ringold
Victims' family after plea Victims' family after plea

The man accused of killing his girlfriend and three others has changed his plea from not guilty to guilty mid-trial.

Richard Ringold is charged with the murder of Atania Butler, her 11-year-old daughter, and two of Butler's friends. All were shot execution style in August 2009. 

The plea meant two things. It spared a 7-year-old girl who witnessed the murders from testifying and took the death penalty off the table for Ringold.

"When it all started, she was the one who gave the description of the person and said it was him," grandmother Nancy Butler said.

Nancy Butler was relieved her granddaughter, who was 4 at the time of the murder, didn't have to testify about that horrific day.

Ringold changed his plea to guilty right before she was to testify. He admitted in court he killed all four, and shot her as well.

"I felt relieved. I was relieved my saying that he did it and I made me feel like why did he put us through this. All I can say is he got punked by a baby girl," Nancy Butler said.

All four victims were shot execution style in August of 2009. Investigators said Atania Butler and Ringold fought over him leading a double life with another girlfriend.

Waddell Thomas' daughter was the 11-year-old victim.

"It still hurts, nobody's coming back, but to see him locked away for life without parole, I'm content," Thomas said.

Ringold faced the death penalty if convicted by a jury.

The family agreed to the plea deal. Under the plea, the district attorney recommended life without the possibility of parole and the judge agreed to it.    

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