CLEARFIELD – A 36-year-old Strattenville man who was accused of soliciting another Clearfield County Jail inmate to kill three people – his ex-wife and her boyfriend and his current wife – pleaded guilty yesterday in Colloquy Court, according to court documents.
Jerry Ritchey Jr., 36, of Strattenville has been sentenced for criminal solicitation/aggravated assault and terroristic threats, said Court Administrator F. Cortez “Chip” Bell III in an e-mail to GantDaily.com this afternoon.
He was originally facing three counts of criminal solicitation-murder in the first degree and criminal solicitation/aggravated assault. He was scheduled to stand trial on these charges Wednesday, Aug. 15.
For the first count of criminal solicitation/aggravated assault, he was fined $1 plus court costs and 3 – 6 years consecutive to the sentence in a separate case for burglary charges.
For the second count of criminal solicitation/aggravated assault, he was fined $1 plus court costs and 3 – 6 years concurrent to the first count. For terroristic threats, he was fined $1 plus court costs and 1 to 3 years consecutive to Count 1.
“In essence on the case from today, he got 4 to 9 years. There were the usual no contact provisions with the victims, etc.,” said Bell.
During the preliminary hearing in March, a confidential informant testified he’d mentioned to Ritchey that he’d previously been incarcerated for manslaughter. Then, Ritchey asked the informant if he could “do it again” to which the informant said he could.
The informant was scheduled to be released in December 2011 and Ritchey wanted him to murder his ex-wife and her boyfriend. The informant said Ritchey wanted his ex-wife dead, because she wouldn’t permit him to speak with their children.
“He just wanted her out of the picture – dead,” said the informant.
So far as payment, the informant said Ritchey propositioned a future burglary in which a lot of money was involved. He said once the deed was executed, he was instructed to inform a relative of Ritchey, stating, “It’s done.” The informant said the relative would relay the message to Ritchey.
Ritchey provided the informant with the address of his ex-wife and her boyfriend as well as one for his current wife with a sketch of her residence.
The informant said Ritchey wanted him to either burn Ritchey’s current wife with acid or slash her face with a knife. He said Ritchey told him that she was planning to testify against him; she was also seeing another man and Ritchey wanted her “disfigured.”
The informant went to the CCJ deputy warden about Ritchey’s proposition. Afterward the Clearfield-based state police were contacted and involved Cpl. Mitch York of the state police criminal investigation bureau located in Erie.
York met with the informant at the CCJ at which time a concealed recording device was placed on the informant. The informant agreed to speak with Ritchey about the triple-murder proposition.
The informant notified Ritchey he was getting released to which Ritchey asked if he planned to murder his ex-wife and her boyfriend as well as his current wife. The informant said he would and Ritchey provided him with their address information.
In a separate case on June 27, Ritchey was convicted of burglarizing the Bradford Township Municipal Building, Apex Hydraulics & Machine and D.C. Enterprises, both of Decatur Township and T.L. Bainey Trucking of West Decatur overnight July 20-21 of last year. He was sentenced in the burglary case Tuesday.