CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. has announced that charges have been filed against a Clarion County man. Shaw identified the defendant as Jerry Lee Ritchey Jr., 36, of Southern Avenue, Strattanville.
On March 19, 2012, Corporal Mitchell York of the Pennsylvania State Police, Organized Crime Task Force, filed a criminal complaint, charging Ritchey with criminal solicitation to commit murder, F1, 3 counts and criminal solicitation to commit aggravated assault, F1, 1 count.
An affidavit of probable cause filed with the complaint provides that in December 2011, the Pennsylvania State Police received information from a confidential informant who had been incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail with Ritchey.
The informant relayed that Ritchey had asked him to kill Ritchey’s ex-wife and her boyfriend, and that Ritchey had requested that the informant also either burn Ritchey’s current wife with acid or cut her face with a knife. Ritchey offered to pay the informant to carry out the requests.
Upon further investigation, a recording was made in January 2012 of Ritchey specifically asking the informant to kill his ex-wife, her boyfriend and his current wife. Ritchey provided the informant with his current wife’s address and a sketch of her residence while also providing the informant with the address of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. Ritchey further provided the informant with details of how to best carry out the murders.
Shaw stated that a preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 28, and that Ritchey’s bail has been set at $250,000. Shaw thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for their hard work and assistance with this case.
Anyone with knowledge of a crime is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at (800)-376-4700. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime.”