At first, she broke down, crying harder than she ever had since the night nearly three years ago when Anthony Warren fired three rounds at the house where she was sitting on a porch.
After a sip of water and some consoling from her mother, Kai spoke.
"What you done to me was wrong," she said to the man seated just 10 feet away. "But I still forgive him."
Warren, 29, of Boston, had been scheduled to go to trial on six assault and weapons charges last month. He instead pleaded guilty to all charges Thursday.
Prosecutors say Warren, his brother and others had an argument with people who lived on the first floor of the three-family house where Kai lived with her family. They left, then Warren returned around 11 p.m. on July 1, 2003, and fired three rounds at the house.
One of the bullets hit Kai — then 3 years old — as she sat on a third-floor porch with an older sister. The bullet shattered her spine, permanently paralyzing her from the chest down.
After his guilty plea, the girl, her mother and two sisters gave emotional statements to Judge Margot Botsford, who then sentenced Warren to 13 to 15 years in prison and five years' probation.