L.A. Now

Former 'Power Rangers' actor charged with stabbing roommate to death with sword

A Palmdale actor who portrayed one of the "Power Rangers" in the children's television show was charged with murder Thursday in the fatal stabbing of his roommate, prosecutors said.

Ricardo Medina, 36, will appear in court next week to answer charges that he killed his roommate, Josh Sutter, with a sword last year after they argued at the Green Valley home they shared, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Sutter was stabbed multiple times, the release said.

If convicted, Medina could face life in prison.

Medina was arrested on suspicion of murder on Jan. 31, 2015, shortly after the attack at the home on San Francisquito Canyon Road, police have said.

Minutes before the stabbing, Medina and Sutter were involved in an argument over the way Medina's girlfriend had parked her car, according to Lt. Victor Lewandowski of the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau.  

Medina felt that Sutter had disrespected his girlfriend, Lewandowski said. Medina then entered his bedroom with his girlfriend when, prosecutors say, Sutter followed them and forced the door open.

Medina grabbed a sword that he kept near the door and stabbed Sutter multiple times in the abdomen, prosecutors said. 

Medina called 911 and remained at the scene. He was arrested soon after, but the district attorney's office did not file charges at the time.

The agency asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to continue investigating the killing, according to Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

Lewandowski declined to say what led to the decision to bring charges in the case. Medina had claimed he stabbed Sutter in self-defense when he was first interviewed, Lewandowski said.

Medina was arrested early Thursday morning at his residence in Riverside, Lewandowski said.

Allen Bell, who is representing Medina, insisted his client was innocent and questioned the decision to charge him nearly a year after the fatal confrontation.

"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," Bell said in a statement. 

Join the conversation on Facebook >>

Aside from one-off appearances on "CSI: Miami" and "ER," Medina was mostly known for portraying the Red Lion Wild Force Ranger in "Power Rangers Wild Force" from 2002 to 2003. He also played the villainous character "Deker" in "Power Rangers Samurai" in 2011 and 2012.

Gar Lester, Medina's longtime agent, described him as a "trusted friend" who had never exhibited a violent streak. Lester did not think Medina had a criminal history prior to the arrest, though he hasn't spoken to his client since the incident last year.

"I’ve known Rick for years. He really is one of the most peaceful guys. He was thrilled and loved being a Power Ranger. He rescued and trained a wonderful German shepherd, and he was a client and friend," said Lester, who did not know the victim or Medina's girlfriend. "It’s still very difficult for me to believe this was anything but self-defense.”

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in Southern California.

ALSO

Decades after case went cold in slaying of Palmdale woman, man pleads guilty

Burglary suspects in Fresno leave behind a clue: Peels from 'unique' citrus fruit

Powerball losers celebrate a community win for Chino Hills

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

4:13 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Medina's attorney.

2:42 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information from police about an argument prior to the stabbing.

This article was originally published at 12:31 p.m.

Loading
62°