Lebanon man sentenced in Richlands armed stand-off - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Lebanon man sentenced in Richlands armed stand-off

Randall Ratliff Randall Ratliff

A Lebanon, Va. man will spend 48 years in prison for breaking into his estranged wife's home and holding her at gunpoint.  Judge Keary Williams sentenced 56-year-old Randall Elmer Ratliff on Tuesday.  The case stems from the March 2010 abduction of Ratliff's estranged wife.

Ratliff was arrested on March 31, 2010, after breaking into his estranged wife's home on Cliff Street in Richlands, Virginia, while armed with a 9mm handgun.  Police say when Ratliff's wife returned home, he held her at gun point for several hours.  

Richlands Police Officer Ron Holt later arrived and found Ratliff holding a 9mm handgun to his wife's head.  Ratliff also pointed his weapon at Officer Holt.  Police officers sought to diffuse the situation and after lengthy attempts to convince him to give up peacefully, Ratliff allowed the victim to leave.  The Richlands Police Department's Emergency Response Team were able to subdued Ratliff without further incident. 

Ratliff's wife was not physically harmed during the abduction.  Approximately twenty-five officers of the Richlands Police Department and Virginia State Police were involved in the stand-off and several near-by residences were evacuated for safety.

Ratliff took the stand and denied that he broke into his estranged wife's residence, despite the fact that he had confessed to Richlands Police Officers to committing the crime.  He further testified that he was a victim of a conspiracy and that he never threatened his wife.

Judge Keary Williams sentenced Ratliff to 35 years on a charge of breaking and entering while armed with a deadly weapon.  Ratliff also received five years on the charge of abduction, three years for use of a firearm and five years on the charge of assault on a police officer. 

The case was investigated by the Richlands Police Department and the Virginia State Police.  The case was prosecuted by Tazewell Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis H. Lee.




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