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Ohio man charged with killing his father outside church on Easter

April 01, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • Reshad Riddle appeared in Ashtabula Municipal Court on Monday in Ashtabula, Ohio. Riddle is accused of going to the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ and shooting his father to death on Easter Sunday.
Reshad Riddle appeared in Ashtabula Municipal Court on Monday in Ashtabula,… (Tony Dejak / Associated…)

A 25-year-old man, sounding disjointed and rambling, appeared in an Ohio court on Monday on charges that shot his father to death outside a church on Easter, officials said.

Wearing prison garb, Reshad Riddle, appeared Monday afternoon in Ashtabula Municipal Court where he was charged with shooting his father, Richard Riddle, 52, with a single shot from a handgun on Sunday afternoon after worshipers fled the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ.

Riddle was ordered held on a $1 million bail, the court bailiff, Donald Rossetti, told the Los Angeles Times by telephone. The defendant will also undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Riddle has two previous convictions for felonious assaults, Rossetti said. The defendant faces an aggravated murder charge and two weapons charges.

“At the arraignment, he [Riddle] was rattling on and on about things, proclaiming God or Allah made him do it,” Rossetti said. “That’s what he kept saying.”

On Sunday, witnesses said that Riddle was also rambling about God or Allah as he stood in the pulpit area of the church. About 175 people were at the Easter service, authorities told reporters

"It's not something that you expect on a religious holiday and it's sad, it's very unfortunate, and of course our hearts go out to the families and everybody that had to be here today to experience this. It's a terrible thing," Chief Robert Stell of the Ashtabula Police Department told reporters, according to a television broadcast from outside the church on Sunday.

After speaking, the gunman walked down the side of the church, decorated with the traditional Easter lilies, as panicked worshipers fled.

Outside, Riddle shot and killed his father with a handgun, authorities said. He put up no resistance when he was taken into custody.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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