King County prosecutors charged Vanetta Richardson, 34, of Renton, with second-degree murder today, accusing her of shooting her unarmed husband seven times as he tried to flee their house on Sunday.
Richardson allegedly fired a .40-caliber handgun nine times at Jerry Butler Jr., 31, while her children were in her line of fire, charging papers say. Butler was shot twice in the back, once in the back of the head, once in the buttock, once to the front of his left shoulder and twice to the side of his body, according to the charges.
Though Richardson had told police she fired at Butler who lunged at her during an argument, his injuries are inconsistent with her description of events given “there were no gunshot entrance wounds to the direct front of Butler’s body,” the papers say.
Richardson called 911 just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday and reported that she had shot her husband because he had been hitting her, according to the charges. Butler died at the scene and was found lying face down in the yard outside their house in the 12400 block of Southeast 184th Street in Renton, the papers say.
“Although aiming at her husband, the defendant fired her gun multiple times when her children, who are all 16-years-old or younger, were in her line of fire. Her willingness to kill her husband while simultaneously endangering her children with injury from the gunfire establishes she is a danger to the community and her children,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Don Raz wrote in charging documents.
Richardson, who remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, is to be arraigned Dec. 16.