Man gets 11 years in fatal stabbing

Published 2:41 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A young woman who lost her father in a December stabbing tearfully pleaded for the man responsible to get the maximum sentence allowed Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

“All I know is, I’m 32 years old and I don’t have a dad anymore. I can’t call him, I can’t talk to him,” said Angela Drew.

Drew’s father, Anthony Ridley, was stabbed to death on Dec. 6 at the home of Joshua Thompson, 31, of 1717 1/2 Ashtabula St., Ironton.

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Thompson, originally charged with murder, pleaded guilty on April 29 to an amended count of first-degree voluntary manslaughter.

During the plea hearing, Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said Ridley gave Thompson crack cocaine in exchange for a place to live.

On the night of Dec. 6, an argument about the amount of crack Thompson was to receive began, as well as an argument that Ridley was making sexual advances towards Thompson’s girlfriend, according to Anderson.

Thompson stabbed Ridley several times, after which time Ridley shot Thompson in the abdomen. Ridley died from his wounds.

Misty Lacey, niece of the victim, said Ridley was a “bubbly person,” and “brought life to the entire family.”

“We want to make sure justice is served,” Lacey said. “He didn’t deserve this.”

Matthew Loesch, Thompson’s attorney, said his client didn’t want to speak as to further inflame the family, but that he wanted to “express his deepest regrets” and that he hoped the sentence would provide some closure for the Ridley family.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Thompson to 11 years in prison, which is the maximum sentenced for a first-degree felony. Thompson will also have to serve five years of post release control upon his release from prison, which is monitored through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.