by: Amy Clancy Updated:
A Renton woman is behind bars, suspected of shooting her husband to death in front of the couple's six children.
Thirty-four year old Vanetta Yvonne Richardson was arrested by police officers on Sunday.
According to the police report, Richardson argued with her husband, 31-year old Jerry Butler. Prosecutors believe, when Butler threatened to leave home with the children, Richardson pulled her .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and fired it five times in the couple's bedroom. It's not clear whether Butler was injured inside the house, but court documents reveal he was shot twice in the back as he ran out the front door.
During a bail hearing at the King County Correctional Facility in downtown Seattle on Monday afternoon, Shyla Butler broke down in tears when she heard how her brother died.
"My brother was trying to take his kids and leave," Shyla Butler told KIRO 7 Reporter Amy Clancy. "He's been trying to get out of that house. His kids told him, after the last incident in October, that they did not want to be there with her."
Richardson's bail was set at $1 million after Deputy Prosecutor Allison Bannerman told Judge Arthur Chapman that Butler was apparently shot as he was leaving the couple's home.
"She took out a gun and shot him multiple times, even as he was running out the door, and she didn't stop until she was out of ammunition," Bannerman said while arguing for a high bail.
Detectives were still at the home on Southeast 184th Street Monday afternoon, using a metal detector out in the front yard, possibly searching for shell casings.
According to court documents, the couple has a history of domestic violence. Richardson told investigators after her arrest that Butler had assaulted her in the past. She also said she had never seen her husband handle her gun, or anyone else's. But Richardson pulled a gun on Butler back in April 2012, according to police and the victim's sister.
"She pulled the trigger, but the safety was on," Shyla Butler told Clancy about the 2012 incident.
Richardson is scheduled for another court appearance Wednesday.
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