Actor Ricardo Medina Jr. has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his roommate, Joshua Sutter, in 2015. Medina Jr., who played the Red Ranger in “Power Rangers Wild Force,” spent a year claiming self-defense when he was first arrested in 2015. Now, more than two years after the death of Joshua Sutter, Medina Jr. has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and could face up to six years in state prison when he is sentenced later this month.
Former Red Ranger Ricardo Medina Jr. fatally stabbed his roommate, Joshua Sutter, with a sword.
Sutter’s sister, Rachel Kennedy, told Los Angeles Times the guilty plea has provided some sense of closure: “This was the first step in maybe getting some of my life back. We just want him where he belongs, and to start trying to live again. That’s what Josh would want.”
Everything began on Jan. 31, 2015, when Medina Jr. and Sutter got into an argument that turned physical and led to Sutter being stabbed. By February 3, Medina Jr. was released from custody with no charges.
Medina Jr. and Sutter reportedly got into an argument over how Medina Jr.’s girlfriend had parked her car. After their altercation, Medina Jr. called 911, described Sutter’s injuries to the operator and waited for help to arrive. Sutter was pronounced dead later in the hospital. At the time, Medina Jr. was adamant that he was innocent and was only acting in self-defense –something Sutter’s sister denied. After being arrested in 2015, Medina Jr. was released with no charges. Instead, the district attorney told the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to investigate the situation further before they could try the case in court.
“He should absolutely pay for this one way or another,” Kennedy told ABC 7. “I won’t give up, and I won’t let my little brother’s voice ever be stopped. I will speak for him and fight for him forever.”
Law enforcement officials investigated the case for a year before the actor was arrested for a second time for the same crime at the beginning of 2016.
Allen Bell, Medina Jr.’s attorney, spoke out against the second arrest accusing prosecutors and the district attorney of prejudice and mishandling the case.
“As far as I know, nothing has changed since a year ago when Rickey was first arrested,” Bell told TMZ in January 2016. “From the evidence I am aware of, he is as innocent now as he was then. Waiting a year to charge someone can prejudice a client; memories become faded, you may not be able to find percipient witnesses, and crime scenes can get corrupted.”
By September 2016, Medina Jr. was arraigned. He pleaded not guilty to the crime of murder then and was held on a $1 million bail.
Medina Jr. then switched his plea to guilty on charges of voluntary manslaughter this week.
Medina Jr. is scheduled for sentencing on March 30 and could face up to 6 years in prison for the death of Sutter.