Father of Normal girl that was killed gets 8 years in prison

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Richard Rountree, the father of 8-year-old girl Rica Rountree who was killed last year, took a plea deal Thursday.

While the case file is with the judge, the McLean County Clerk was able to confirm the deal was eight years in prison with 30 days time served. Rountree pleaded guilty to child endangerment. Normal police officers arrested Rountree in early January “for circumstances surrounding the death of his minor daughter.” Specifically, Rountree was charged with felonious endangering the life or health of a child under the age of 18.

Rica’s biologically mother, Anntionetta Rountree, at the time told WMBD it’s about time Richard Rountree was being held accountable for his part in their daughter’s death.

“I’m grateful progress is being made and I’m hopeful more is to come. I am hopeful that they dissect this case and see all the mishaps that happened and things change because nobody deserves to be in an urn,” Anntionetta said.

Cynthia Baker (L), Rica Rountree (R)

In November, Richard’s former girlfriend Cynthia Baker was found guilty for Rica’s murder. She kicked the girl in the stomach, which led to massive internal injuries that eventually killed her. Additionally, Rica’s autopsy results showed multiple scars, which indicated a months-long span of abuse.

Baker is currently seeking a new trial.

Prosecutors made their case on text messages Baker and Richard exchanged, complaining back and forth about Rica. Evidence in the case included videos from Baker’s cellphone that were played during witness testimony, and again during closing arguments, that depicted abuse and harassment, with Richard seemingly aware of what was happening.

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