Ricardo Medina Jr., an actor who gained fame in the TV series Power Rangers Wild Force, pleaded guilty today to voluntary manslaughter in the 2015 stabbing death of his roommate.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Daily News, the 38-year-old Medina made his guilty plea at a Lancaster, California courtroom dressed in a yellow prison shirt as a judge informed him of his rights. Medina admitted to having used a sword in the killing of his roommate Josh Sutter, then 36-years-old, on January 31, 2015 at their Green Valley home.
E! News cited a 2015 police report, which detailed the events that took place leading to the killing. At that time, Ricardo Medina Jr. and Josh Sutter had gotten an argument, supposedly about the former’s girlfriend, that had turned physical when Medina and his girlfriend “retreated to his bedroom.” Sutter then reportedly followed the couple and forced the door open, upon which Medina stabbed his roommate with a sword, hitting him once in the abdomen.
After the stabbing, Medina called the police, and Sutter was pronounced dead soon after being taken to a nearby hospital. The ex-Power Rangers Wild Force star was then arrested on suspicion of murder, but released pending further investigations. The L.A. Daily News noted that Medina was arrested again in January 2016 and charged with murder, and he has remained behind bars since then.
In the immediate aftermath of the stabbing incident, Ricardo Medina Jr. expressed remorse for what had supposedly happened, adding through his attorney that he was acting in self-defense, the Inquisitr wrote in October of 2016. That report cited a separate account from BBC News, which suggested Medina was merely trying to protect himself from Sutter when the stabbing occurred.
In its report, the Huffington Post also quoted Medina’s attorney, Allen Bell, who stressed in 2015 that it was all about his client trying to defend himself from the supposedly aggressive and violent Sutter.
“It is a self-defense case. It’s been a self-defense case. You have an individual here that was the victim of a beating in the kitchen area before he went to the bedroom and closed and locked the door in order to secure himself from any continuing violence.”
Josh’s father Donald Sutter, however, denied the possibility that his late son may have been the aggressor in his fatal argument with Medina, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.
“Josh don’t have that in his heart to attack anybody.”
Medina’s best-known role was that of Cole Evans, a.k.a. the Red Lion Wild Force Ranger in the short-lived 2002 series Power Rangers Wild Force. He had also appeared in another one of the franchise’s series, Power Rangers Samurai, from 2011 to 2012, playing the role of Dekker, reprising his role as a voice talent for the video game of the same name. The actor’s IMDB page also lists credits from other television series, including ER and CSI: Miami, but no other roles after 2012.
Ricardo Medina Jr.’s case isn’t the first time an actor who appeared in the Power Rangers franchise has gotten in serious trouble with the law. In 2009, Skylar Deleon was convicted of three counts of murder, having been accused of murdering Tom and Jackie Hawks in 2004 and Jon Jarvi a year earlier. According to the Telegraph, Deleon, who had played a small role in the 1990s television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, faced the death penalty for the two separate murders, with his verdict having been treated as a “foregone conclusion” due to the statements of his lawyers, the Telegraph wrote.
The sentencing of Ricardo Medina Jr. is scheduled to take place on March 30 at the Antelope Valley branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He will be serving a six-year sentence in state prison for his role in Josh Sutter’s killing, having avoided a much more serious murder charge that would have resulted in a sentence of 26 years to life.
[Featured Image by Mark Mainz/Getty Images]