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Suspect in Lachey's bar manager shooting pleads guilty

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 14:45:13-04

CINCINNATI -- The man accused of shooting a Lachey's bar manager on Thanksgiving pleaded guilty, police said Friday.

Lavoris Hightower, 36, shot 27-year-old Ellie Richardson in the face at about 3:20 a.m. Nov. 23 as she was leaving the bar with co-workers and a friend.

While Richardson was walking to her car, she was almost struck by a van driven by Hightower, prosecutors previously said. She approached the van, and then Hightower shot her.

Hightower turned himself in to authorities in December. He faced charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, having weapons while under disability and tampering with evidence.

Police said that Hightower took a plea deal for an eight-year sentence in the shooting.

Surgeons rebuilt the right side of Richardson's jaw and removed the bullet. She previously told WCPO that doctors were concerned she could have suffered brain damage and could have lost her vision, but neither of those happened.

The case drew widespread attention in part due to connection to the Lachey brothers and their boy band, 98 Degrees. Nick Lachey tweeted about the case, asking people with information to come forward. 

The bar closed earlier this year.