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Tony Ringer Back In Court
A local barber, serving time for the killing of his pregnant girlfriend, was back in a Hamilton County courtroom today.
Tony Ringer is serving 21 years in prison for the 2000 murder of Cassandra Betts.
Ringer was granted an appeal of his sentence after claiming the trial judge didn't specify the length of his probation.
Today, the new judge Nadine Allen was to decide the probation issue only. But she recused herself after she told attorneys she knew the family.
Family members say they will have to return to court and relive the nightmare again.
The presiding Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge will now assign a new judge to the case and set a new date for the resentencing hearing.
In 2002, a well-known barber, Tony Ringer, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Cassandra Betts.
But now, just more than halfway through his sentence, Ringer and his victim's family are headed back to court over a sentencing technicality.
While that may end up a minor issue, the emotional impact to the victim's family is anything but minor.
Local 12's Rich Jaffe joins us now from the courthouse with the story.
Tomorrow morning, Ringer and Cassandra Betts' family will be in front of Judge Nadine Allen for basically a resentencing hearing.
Ringer's become his own jail house attorney while he's been in prison and a few months ago he won a portion of his appeal.
Tomorrow he'll be resentenced and Cassandra's family will be reliving.
In December of 2000, a pregnant,Cassandra Betts was shot in the head by boyfriend Tony Ringer. Shot in the front seat of her car, during an argument her, 7 year old daughter was in the backseat. Ringer left, and the little girl remained in the car with her mother's body all night long.
Apprehended,indicted,and convicted 2 years later on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, Ringer and the family will both be in court again Wednesday morning.
"It's awful. In fact, my one daughter she's all upset, basically saying she has to go through all this again. my one daughter in Florida, goes to the University of Central Florida, she's all upset because she can't be here...I'm having nightmares...thinking it's done, let him serve his time and be done with it...why keep tormenting the family and constantly be victimized over and over?" says Betts' mother, Barbaranne Irving.
Ringer, representing himself has filed copious appeal documents over the years.
He won an appeal hearing based on the fact that at sentencing the judge didn't specify the length of post release control or probation...so he has to be resentenced.
After his original sentencing he told us that Betts' family has to come to grips with forgiveness saying...
"Hatred is not a part of God's plan...I don't know what God they serve but it might be time to rededicate themselves."
Cassandra's daughter is now 20 and part of an offender victim dialogue program that at some future point could have her face to face with her mother's killer in an effort to find answers to her questions.
"He had already beat her for many months prior to that, what she wanted to know...is could he have just saved her life because she's living without her mother plus her father's locked up too...so she doesn't really have that parent-father relationship. She basically has me as her grandmother and her supporting family members that are basically getting her through all this," says Irving.
To be clear the granddaughter's father - who's serving time - is not Tony Ringer...that's someone else.
Barbaranne Irving thinks it's a horrible waste of tax payer dollars to bring Tony Ringer back here and go through the hearing process rather than just do it through something like a video conference.
The hearing is set for 9 am in front of Judge Nadine Allen.
Ironically, at this point if Tony Ringer serves his entire sentence he'll be getting out on Cassandra Betts' birthday in 2023.