Former “Power Rangers” franchise actor Ricardo Medina was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison for the 2015 slaying of his roommate Josh Sutter.
Medina pleaded guilty earlier this month to voluntary manslaughter in a deal that reduced his charges from murder, which carries a maximum prison time of 11 years. As part of the plea, the actor also had to acknowledge the use of a sword in the killing.
Medina is best known his role as Cole Evans, aka the Red Ranger, on the 2002 series “Power Rangers Wild Force.” Medina’s character would go on to be incorporated into the 2011 series “Power Rangers Samurai,” which ran for two seasons. The actor has already been in prison for more than a year.
His sentencing hearing permitted he victim’s family to be heard. "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.
The 2015 killing began as a verbal fight between Medina and Josh Sutter, about one of Medina’s former girlfriends. Medina said the altercation began in the kitchen, where Sutter struck him in the face numerous times. Medina claims he and his then-girlfriend retreated to his bedroom and locked the door. Sutter allegedly then broke into the room to continue the fight, at which point Medina stabbed him with a sword. Sutter died shortly after the attack. Prior to pleading guilty, Medina claimed Sutter’s death was the result of self-defense.
Medina was quickly arrested on suspicion of murder, but the case was rejected by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Medina was arrested again in January 2016, and his bail was set at $1 million. Medina pleaded guilty to the reduced manslaughter charges, which, in California, can result in a sentence of three years, six years or 11 years. Media could be released on parole in as little as three years.