According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Ricardo Medina, who formerly played the Red Ranger on the 2002 children's television series Power Rangers Wild Force, has pleaded guilty to stabbing his roommate to death with a sword. Medina claimed he was acting in self-defense against his roommate, Joshua Sutter, following a heated argument the two men had on the night of January 31, 2015.
Originally charged with first-degree murder, Medina took a plea bargain to drop his charge to voluntary manslaughter, a crime that could earn him up to six years in prison. According to case investigators, Medina and Sutter began a heated argument in their Green Valley, California home over the way Medina's girlfriend had parked her car. Later, Sutter allegedly forced his way into Medina's bedroom with violent intentions, prompting the actor to use the sword in self-defense.
Stanley Friedman, defense attorney for the actor, stated his belief that pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter was a better option than being found guilty of murder. “It was an offer that was definitely worth it for him to take,” Friedman said. “It mitigated his risk of potentially getting a life sentence.”
According to Sutter's sister, Rachel Kennedy, Sutter moved to Los Angeles in 2011 in order to assist his sister in her dream of opening a business that would rescue dogs. According to Kennedy, Medina had been acting erratically in the months leading up to the stabbing, even once threatening to release her and her brother's dogs to the wild.
Kennedy later commented on the sentencing, though she expressed her belief that six years wasn't enough time to pay for her brother's life. “This was the first step in maybe getting some of my life back,” Kennedy said. “We just want him where he belongs, and to start trying to live again. That’s what Josh would want.”
Although Medina also starred in one-off episodes of ER and CSI: Miami, he is still best known for his roles in 2002's Power Rangers Wild Force and 2011-12's Power Rangers Samurai. Doubtless, his sentencing comes at a unique time, as an official Power Rangers theatrical film is set to hit theaters later this month. Though Medina had nothing to do with the film project, his case does have the potential to bring some interesting publicity to the upcoming movie.