WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) – Three of four men charged in the murder of a 10-year-old girl have pleaded guilty.
The case is related to a home invasion in March of last year that killed 10-year-old Ta’Naiyah Thomas.
She was sleeping in an apartment with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend when two men forced their way in and started shooting.
Ta’Naiyah was shot in the head as she ran form her room to her mother’s room.
Today, Anthian Goehring pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.
Richard White and Malik Thomas, who say they waiting in the car during the home invasion, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit homicide and robbery.
The District Attorney says the murder plea has teeth.
“With third-degree murder, the maximum sentence is 40 years,” said Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone. “The robbery, the maximum sentence is the 20 years on the conspiracy, it’s also 40 years on the murder charge, so the judge could if he wanted to run those consecutively.”
Douglas Cochran is also charged, but did not enter a plea agreement. There’s speculation the other three defendants will testify against him.
The victim’s father, though, was in no mood to accept any deal other than the maximum for all involved.
“For these people to take her life and disregard it like it was nothing and for these people, these prosecutors to low-ball these pleas when you have individuals all on paper admitting that they were in a place where an event took place that took my child’s life,” said Curtis Thomas. “For you all to low-ball a plea for my daughter’s life? And that’s what my daughter’s life means to you? It’s ridiculous.”