Man gets 12 years in prison for throwing ax at his mother
BENTONVILLE — A Siloam Springs man was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to a list of charges including one involving throwing an ax at his mother.
Justin Ritz, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault on a family or household, second-degree battery, first-degree terroristic threatening and possession of drug paraphernalia, all felonies. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and third-degree domestic battering.
The plea came under an agreement attorney Kevin Lammers reached with Carrie Hobbs, deputy prosecutor.
Siloam Springs police investigated a disturbance call at 9:21 Dec. 3 at 1636 Rosewood Lane. An officer entered the home and saw Ritz bleeding from injuries to his face, according to court documents.
Ritz claimed his mother, Nancy Ritz, had got ten angry at him and hit him on the face with a cane. Ritz’s parents claimed he assaulted them, the affidavit states.
Nancy Ritz told police her son became angry because he couldn’t find his keys and thought she had taken them away from him, according to the affidavit. She said her son began to knock things over in her bedroom and screamed at her. She told police her son picked up a ax and threw it toward her. The ax came within inches of her head and hit a bedroom wall, according to the affidavit.
Witnesses told police Justin Ritz hit himself on the face with the cane and planned to blame his parents for the injuries, the affidavit states.
Donald Ritz told police he heard his son tell his wife he was was going to kill her if she didn’t give him the keys, the affidavit states.
Justin Ritz has been arrested three other times and those cases also were resolved with the plea.
Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green accepted the plea agreement and Ritz’s guilty plea. Ritz was sentenced to 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. He must serve at least two years before he’s eligible for parole. He must abide by a suspended sentence agreement for 10 years after his release from prison. Ritz must pay $2,200 in court costs and $200 in restitution.
He was given credit for 84 days for the time he spent in the Benton County Jail awaiting trial.