Over two years after Ricardo Medina’s roommate was stabbed to death, the ex-Power Rangers actor pleaded guilty today to killing Josh Sutter. With sentencing set for March 30, Medina could face up to six years in state prison.
While no picnic, to say the least, that’s a far cry from the life sentence Medina was looking at when he was arrested on a murder charge in January 2016. That charge could have seen him behind bars for 26 years to life.
The actor, who played Cole Evans aka the Red Wild Force Ranger in the 2002 series Power Rangers Wild Force, entered his plea to a lesser charge of “one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and admitted an allegation of using a sword in the killing,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said Thursday.
Back on January 31, 2015, Medina and Sutter got into an argument concerning the former’s girlfriend. As things unfortunately escalated, Medina grabbed a sword they had around the apartment and started repeatedly stabbing Sutter, who died soon afterward.
Picked up by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for the killing that day, the Power Rangers alum was released after a court hearing soon afterward because the case was rejected. At the time, the DA’s office said the matter still was being investigated and that it would not rule out going after Medina again down the line – which it did on January 14 last year, with a new murder charge and bail set at $1 million.
“I’m very, very, very sorry for what occurred,” said Medina when he was first let out in February 2015. “I’m very happy to be out of jail, and my heart goes out to the Sutter family.”
After playing Red Wild Force Ranger on Fox Kids and ABC Kids’ Wild Force, Medina got a second kick at the Power Rangers can in 2012. He returned to the brand, which had been bought back from Disney by Haim Saban, in 2011 for Power Rangers Samurai. That season of the Power Rangers was actually split in two, with Power Rangers Super Samurai making up the second set of 20 episodes in 2012.
Deputy D.A. Tannaz Mokayef with the Major Crimes Division is handling the Medina case for D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office.
Meanwhile, the latest iteration of the long-running franchise, director Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers, hits theaters March 24 via Lionsgate.