The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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April 2, 2013

Murder suspect tells court he cleared DNA from his family tree

ASHTABULA —  An ex-convict, charged with killing his father after church Easter Sunday, talked of his innocence, questioned the authority of the court and “clearing the DNA” from his family tree during a court appearance Monday.

City Solicitor Michael Franklin then requested a psychiatric evaluation.

The suspect, Reshad Riddle, 28, of Ashtabula, appeared in Municipal Court in an orange jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled. Judge Albert Camplese was presiding.

The bearded and tattooed Riddle asked Camplese, “By whose laws have I broken?”

“The laws of Ohio,” Camplese said, before reading Riddle his rights.

Riddle rattled off comments about God and whether he would be treated fairly. Franklin asked for $1 million bail and, if Riddle is able to post the bail, a psychiatric evaluation and 24-hour electronic monitoring.

Riddle is charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; having a weapon under disability, a third-degree felony, and carrying a concealed weapon, a fifth-degree felony, court records show. The aggravated murder charge is punishable by life sentence in prison or death, Camplese said.

No plea was entered on the charges. Camplese said a public defender will be appointed to the case if Riddle cannot afford an attorney.

Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell said Riddle went to Hiawatha Church of God in Christ on Sunday and shot and killed his father, Richard Riddle, 52, after the service.

The gunshot was fired at point-blank range, entering the front of the head and exiting the back, said Richard Mongell, chief investigator for Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office.

Richard Riddle died instantly from that single gunshot, Mongell said Monday.

Stell said after Reshad Riddle shot his father, he walked into the church and up to the pulpit, holding his gun in the air. He was yelling about Allah and how it was the will of God, Stell said.

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