Man sentenced to 54 years in prison for killing ex-girlfriend while 2-year-old was in home

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Jackson County judge sentenced a man to 54 years in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend in January 2018.

Joseph Gonsalez was convicted in March of voluntary manslaughter, two counts of armed criminal action and child endangerment. He was initially charged with first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth Richards, the mother of his child.

According to court documents, Richards was found bound by duct tape and shot in the head at a home near 111th and College Avenue on Jan. 6, 2018.

Elizabeth Richards

Gonsalez also suffered from a gunshot wound. Their 2-year-old child was inside the home but was not injured.

Gonsalez's mother told police that Gonsalez and Richards shared custody of their 2-year-old son Jay, and Richards had come to the home to drop the boy off for visitation. Court documents say Gonsalez was the only person home when Richards and the 2-year-old arrived.

The 23-year-old's mother later noticed she had missed a call from her son, court documents say. When she called him back, she could hear Richards and Gonsalez arguing and then what she believed was a gunshot.

When the woman and her husband returned to the home, they found Richards on the floor with the 2-year-old nearby. Police found a revolver in the home and spent rounds, according to court documents.

Investigators also found surveillance video of Joseph Gonsalez buying duct tape at a nearby Home Depot the day before the murder.

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