Echo Butler: Pennsylvania woman sentenced to life for helping GF starve her daughters, 6 and 4, to death
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LYCOMING COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: A Pennsylvania woman has reportedly been handed two life sentences for deliberately helping her girlfriend starve and murder her two young daughters. In Lycoming County Court on Friday, January 20, Echo Butler pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to commit first-degree murders of her girlfriend Marie Snyder’s two daughters, Nicole, 6, and Jasmine, 4.
The 27-year-old will now serve the life imprisonment sentence without the possibility of parole along with the girls' biological mother. Snyder pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, theft by deception, and food stamp fraud in October 2022. Besides the pair, Echo's mother, Michele Butler is also charged with third-degree murder in connection to this case while her father is facing child endangerment and obstruction charges, Daily Mail reported.
According to police affidavits, the two women allegedly subjected Snyder’s daughters to heinous and unparalleled abuse on a daily basis for years that eventually led to their death. The minors were found buried in the backyard of the couple’s home located in the 600 block of Livermore Road in Williamsport, according to Law & Crime. Snyder and Echo allegedly tortured, abused, restrained, and starved the two girls but didn’t harm Snyder’s young son.
The evil couple even forced the girls to wear solid diapers, made them stand in the corner with their hands bound, and only gave them ice-cold baths because they “didn’t deserve hot water.” The official documents also revealed that Jasmine was often left restrained in a car seat while Nicole was bound several times. Echo and Snyder were arrested after the authorities found the girls’ remains in November 2021.
During the interrogation, Snyder once told investigators that Echo never liked the girls and wanted them out of their house. “I’m sorry about these f**king bitches,” Snyder allegedly wrote in a December 2015 letter to Butler. The girls' mother went in to add, “If you want them gone, they’re gone.” She further revealed that once Echo choked Nicole “until her eyes rolled back in her head.” It was also reported that days before her death, Nicole had grown so pale and weak that she was not even able to stand up on her own.
After years of torture, Nicole died on May 10, 2016. All three women allegedly watched the girl take her last breath, per the Sun-Gazette. Jasmine allegedly experienced even more severe types of torture and abuse following Nicole’s death. The documents stated that Jasmine also showed similar signs of her declining health in the days leading up to her death in 2017. The two girls were last seen by their father in 2015.
Reflecting on the sentencing, District Attorney Ryan Gardner said "their ages will remain indefinitely 6 and 4," adding "justice is served on their behalf." He also told PA that this was the most horrific case he has ever experienced in his years-long career. "In all the years that I've been a practicing attorney, this is the most horrific case I've ever experienced," Gardner said. He added, "Two children subject to repeated intentional starvation and torture that results in their deaths is a tragedy of epic proportions. It's tragic for the surviving family members and it's tragic for the community in general."