Having pleaded down from potentially spending the rest of his life behind bars for stabbing his roommate to death in 2015, former Power Rangers actor Ricardo Medina today was given just over half of the maximum sentence available.
In a hearing Thursday, LA Superior Court Judge Daviann Mitchell hit Medina with six years in state prison. That is five years less than the absolute most the Red Wild Force Ranger from the Power Rangers Super Samurai TV series could have received for his March 16 guilty plea of a single felony count of voluntary manslaughter and admitting to “an allegation of using a sword in the killing” of Josh Sutter two years ago. The actor, who first portrayed Cole Evans aka the Red Wild Force Ranger in the 2002 series Power Rangers Wild Force, has been in custody for over a year and will start his sentence promptly.
“We also hope that everyone that looks at Ricardo from now on will never see him as a celebrity but as nothing more than a cold-blooded killer,” said Sutter’s father at the hearing this morning. Medina had nothing to do with the current Lionsgate-distributed Power Rangers movie that is on big screens around the world.
Even with its 11-year maximum, the voluntary manslaughter charge agreed to by L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office is a lot less than the life sentence Medina would have received had he been found guilty of the murder charge on which he was arrested in January 2016. As it is, Medina could be out on parole in less than three years, law enforcement officials tell Deadline.
After playing Red Wild Force Ranger on Fox Kids and ABC Kids’ Wild Force, Medina was brought back to the brand — which creator Haim Saban had re-purchased from Disney — in 2011 for Power Rangers Samurai. That season of the Power Rangers actually was split in two, with Power Rangers Super Samurai making up the second set of 20 episodes in 2012.
The January 2016 arrest actually was the second time Medina was picked up for the killing of Sutter.
On January 31, 2015, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department arrested Medina after he and Sutter got into a fatal argument concerning the former’s girlfriend. As things unfortunately escalated, Medina got hold of a sword they had around the apartment and repeatedly stabbed Sutter, who died soon afterward.
While arrested, the Power Rangers vet was released soon after a court hearing that determined the case was rejected. At the time, Lacey’s office said the incident was still under investigation and that it would not rule out arresting Medina again – which is exactly what happened on January 14 last year, with a new murder charge and bail set at $1 million.
The voluntary manslaughter charge here in the Golden State carries a trio of potential sentences – three years, the six years Medina got or the max of 11 years.