Monday, June 12, 1989

Officer Clarence Ratliff - Sentenced - Grand Rapids PD





Murdered ex-wife, Judge Carol Irons [Kent County]:

Officer Clarence Ratliff's assault of first wife, while on duty [1975]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/1975/03/officer-clarence-ratliff-grand-rapids.html

Officer Clarence Ratliff's murder of ex-wife Judge Carol Irons [1988]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/1994/08/officer-clarence-ratliff-grand-rapids.html

Officer Clarence Ratliff shot at Officer John Den Boer after killing Judge Irons [1988]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/1988/10/officer-clarence-ratliff-shot-at_19.html

Officer Clarence Ratliff shot at Officer Daniel Ostopowicz after killing Judge Irons [1988]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/1988/10/officer-clarence-ratliff-shot-at.html

Officer Clarence Ratliff sentenced for murder of Judge Carol Irons [1989]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/10/oidv-offender-update-clarence-ratliff.html

Clarence Ratliff's sentence confirmed [1991]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/12/oidv-offender-appeal-clarence-ratliff.html

Judge Irons' murderer requests to be freed from prison [2011]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/05/former-grand-rapids-officer-clarence.html

Judge Irons' murderer, Clarence Ratliff dies in prison [2011]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/05/murderer-former-cop-asks-to-die-free.html











This is the sentence that Officer Ratliff received for murdering his ex-wife Judge Carol Irons: 15 years for manslaughter. Ratliff was charged with first-degree murder, but the jurors believed that Judge Irons provoked Ratliff...





Ratliff received two life sentences for shooting at the police officers who came to Judge Irons' rescue, because the jurors handed down a verdict of assault with intent to commit murder...







ORIGINAL CHARGES: ONE COUNT OF 1ST DEGREE MURDER; AND TWO COUNTS OF ASSAULT W/INTENT TO MURDER

MDOC NUMBER: 201810
CURRENT STATUS: PRISONER- RELEASED TO MENTAL HEALTH OR CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCY [10/18/1990]
LOCATION: UNITED STATES PRISON
SECURITY LEVEL: V
EARLIEST RELEASE DATE: LIFE
MAXIMUM DISCHARGE DATE: LIFE

SENTENCE 1:
OFFENSE: WEAPONS- FELONY FIREARM

MCL #: 750.227BA
COURT FILE # : 8846542FC
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 2 YEARS 0 MONTHS 0 DAYS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 2 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 10/19/1988
DATE OF SENTENCE: 06/12/1989

SENTENCE 2:
OFFENSE: WEAPONS- FELONY FIREARM
MCL #: 750.227BA
COURT FILE # : 8846542FC
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 2 YEARS 0 MONTHS 2 DAYS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 2 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 10/19/1988
DATE OF SENTENCE: 06/12/1989

SENTENCE 3:
OFFENSE: MANSLAUGHTER

MCL #: 750.321
COURT FILE # : 8846542FC
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: 10 YEARS 0 MONTHS
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: 15 YEARS 0 MONTHS
DATE OF OFFENSE: 10/19/1988
DATE OF SENTENCE: 06/12/1989

SENTENCE 4:
OFFENSE: ASSAULT W/INTENT TO COMMIT MURDER

MCL #: 750.83
COURT FILE # : 8846542FC
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
DATE OF OFFENSE: 10/19/1988
DATE OF SENTENCE: 06/12/1989

SENTENCE 5:
OFFENSE: ASSAULT W/INTENT TO COMMIT MURDER

MCL #: 750.83
COURT FILE # : 8846542FC
COUNTY: KENT
CONVICTION TYPE: JURY
MINIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
MAXIMUM SENTENCE: LIFE
DATE OF OFFENSE: 10/19/1988
DATE OF SENTENCE: 06/12/1989





Ex-Policeman Gets Two Life Terms for Slaying Wife, Firing at Officers
June 13, 1989
The Associated Press
Los Angeles Times
http://articles.latimes.com/1989-06-13/news/mn-2117_1_three-fellow-officers-circuit-judge-dennis-kolenda-third-officer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A former policeman received two life prison sentences Monday for fatally shooting his estranged wife in her judicial chambers and firing at three fellow officers.

Clarence Ratliff, 53, showed no emotion when Circuit Judge Dennis Kolenda announced his punishment for the Oct. 19 shootings at the Kent County Hall of Justice that claimed the life of District Judge Carol S. Irons, 40.

Kolenda told Ratliff that his punishment "must show that no one is above the law."

Kolenda's office was flooded with thousands of letters requesting that Ratliff receive the harshest penalty allowable after a jury May 11 convicted the former officer of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Ratliff, a 21-year veteran of the city Police Department, had been charged with first-degree murder.

Kolenda said he stepped outside sentencing guidelines because of the crime's seriousness, its location, public sentiment and Ratliff's position of trust in the community.

The former officer received the life sentences for his conviction on two counts of assault with intent to murder for shooting at two officers who came to Irons' aid.

Ratliff got 10 to 15 years for the manslaughter conviction, as well as a term of from two years and eight months to four years for assault with a firearm, for shooting at a third officer. None of the officers were wounded. All the penalties were concurrent, except for a two-year sentence for using a firearm during commission of a felony.











GRAND RAPIDS JUDGE'S KILLER RECEIVES 2 LIFE PRISON TERMS
LISA PERLMAN Associated Press
June 13, 1989
Detroit Free Press
(MI)GRAND RAPIDS -- Exceeding sentence guidelines to show that "no one is above the law," a judge Monday gave former police officer Clarence Ratliff two life prison terms for firing on other officers after killing his estranged wife, a district judge.

The heavy sentences followed outcry over Ratliff being convicted of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum 15-year sentence, in the shooting of Judge Carol Irons last Oct. 19 at the Kent County Hall of Justice.

Judge Dennis Kolenda gave Ratliff 10 to 15 years on the manslaughter charge.

He imposed the two life terms for assault with intent to murder in the shoot-out with other police who were coming to help Irons.

Ratliff, 53, showed no emotion and declined to speak as he also was sentenced to a term of two years and eight months to four years for assault with a firearm for shooting at a third officer, and two years for the use of a firearm during commission of a felony. None of the other officers were hit in the shooting that followed Irons' death.

The Michigan Attorney General's office, which handled the prosecution, asked Kolenda to impose the maximum 25-to 40- year prison term in Michigan sentencing guidelines for assaults with intent to murder.

But Kolenda said he stepped outside the guidelines because of the seriousness of the crime, where it happened, public sentiment and Ratliff's position of trust in the community.

"These sentences must show that no one is above the law," Kolenda told the 21-year police veteran. "You're one of those few people who have the ability to overcome a natural abhorrence of taking a life."

The judge noted that Ratliff will be eligible for parole in 10 years but said, "Most people sentenced to life are never paroled."

Kolenda's office had been flooded with thousands of pieces of mail requesting the harshest penalty possible after Ratliff was convicted May 11. About 1,200 people rallied outside the courthouse on May 31 in support of a stiff sentence for Ratliff.

Before the sentencing, Kolenda allowed friends, family and coworkers of Irons to address the court.

Manu urged the maximum penalty for Ratliff because they said he seemed to show no remorse over the incident.

"He used his manliness to try and justify the most unmanly behavior," Irons' parents, James and Virginia Irons, said through Irons' attorney and friend, Diann Landers.

Ratliff contended he did not intend to kill Irons, but was drunk and angry about a property dispute in their divorce proceedings.

Defense attorney Grant Gruel said no decision has been made on an appeal.



Sunday, January 1, 1989

Officer Eugene Williams - Detroit PD


Also See:

Officer Eugene Williams - Shot and wounded wife - Detroit PD



According to a lawsuit filed against Officer Eugene Williams, in 1989 the officer assaulted Cody High School student Robert Valentine. "Officer Eugene Williams took him, flung him head and face first against a wall, where plaintiff struck his face, mouth and head . . . breaking off four front teeth with the impact."






Detroit Officer who Killed Unarmed 16-year-old has Killed two Others


Black Press USA - 1 hour ago by Diane Bukowski
Special to the NNPA from the Michigan Citizen
December 20, 2006
http://www.blackpressusa.com/News/Article.asp?SID=3&Title=National+News&NewsID=11716

DETROIT — The Detroit police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Brandon Moore at Detroit’s Bel-Air Mall Nov. 26 is Officer Eugene J. Williams.

A 35-year veteran of the force, Williams has killed two others during his tenure with the department, in 1971 and 1979.

Informed sources have independently identified Williams, whose badge number is 4174, although the police department has refused to do so while an investigation proceeds.

According to published articles and court records, Williams also shot and wounded his police officer wife in 1984 in a domestic dispute, and wrongfully knocked out four front teeth of an innocent 16-year-old Cody High School student in 1989.

“I want to address Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings,” said Moore’s father John Henry Moore, Sr. “Why is this man still on the force, after doing all this damage to people’s lives? If my son had shot him, he would be in jail or where he is now, deceased. Brandon was only starting his life, and he had a promising career, but this officer can still go home and take care of his family.”

Earlier reports indicated that the officer who shot the younger Moore was on administrative leave.

However, Williams answered the phone Dec. 12 at the Traffic Enforcement Unit on Mt. Elliott, where he is assigned. He would not confirm that he is the officer involved, but he did not deny it. He would not discuss whether he worked on or off-duty at the National Wholesale Liquidators store.

Moore was killed there after he and a group of friends were ejected from the store, got in a dispute with Williams, and then ran after the officer produced a gun.

“No, we don’t speak to people on the phone about things like this, according to department policy,” said Williams. He declined a personal interview.

Second Deputy Chief James Tate had not returned a call for comment about Williams before press time.

Bobby Pidgeon, a media spokesman for National Wholesale Liquidators, said the chain was waiting for the results of the police investigation in the case.

“We understand six young men attacked the off-duty officer,” said Pidgeon. He hung up when asked whether the officer was working for the chain at the time.

Desiree Stinson, a friend of the Moore family, said her children frequent the store and have seen Williams working there since Moore’s killing. A former 911 operator, she said that police department employees are not allowed to moonlight on security jobs because such jobs represent a conflict of interest.

The source who identified Williams said he did not have department permission to work at the store, which is required for any off-duty work.

“I don’t understand why he hasn’t been charged,” said Stinson.

“If it had been one of us, we would have been under the jail. But they figure it’s just another Black kid who’s probably a hoodlum. Now they’re finding out he was a good kid who had never been in trouble. Where is the outrage about a grown man shooting a kid in the back?”

According to a Detroit Free Press article published in 1984, Williams, who was hired in 1970, was fired from the Detroit police force in 1971 after being involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident while under the influence of alcohol.

After he appealed, the department reinstated him in 1974.

On June 5, 1979, Williams shot and killed 31-year-old Glenn C. Grace while off-duty, during a neighborhood dispute on the southwest side, according to a lawsuit filed by the Grace family. Grace was an auto mechanic with four children.

Both sides in the suit agreed that Grace and a friend, Lloyd Woolfolk, who was a Ford autoworker, had gone to the home of Carolyn Broadnax on Liebold, to confront her brother about an earlier ejection from a party.

Both sides also agreed that Grace was armed and under the influence of alcohol.

According to court documents, Williams provided one version of the killing. He said he was visiting Broadnax at the time and both were standing on her front porch when Grace shot at the house across the street. Grace then confronted the two on the porch, pulling out his gun and threatening to kill them.

Williams shot Grace in the head and shoulder, killing him.

In a different account of events, Woolfolk said the conversation he and Grace were having with Broadnax had taken a friendly turn, and that Grace never displayed or pulled his gun or threatened the two on the porch. He said Williams never identified himself as a police officer, instead crept behind Broadnax, and fired at Grace without warning.

Due to legal technicalities, a judge refused to admit a plaintiff’s witness list including Woolfolk, and the case appears to have been dismissed.

A city attorney defended Williams in the case.

On June 4, 1984, Williams shot his wife, Pamila Hatter Williams, in the side during a domestic dispute, according to the Detroit Free Press and court records involving their 1987 divorce. Her right leg was at least temporarily paralyzed as a result.

His wife was also a police officer who had been preparing to return to work along with 125 others called back from lay-off.

Williams was suspended with pay, but it is unclear whether he was ever charged in the incident. His wife said she used a pair of scissors to cut up William’s police uniform and never intended to harm him. Williams said she lunged at him with the scissors. His divorce records claimed it was a knife.

Williams sued his wife for divorce in 1987, and expelled her from their Rosedale Park home. Wayne County Register of Deeds records show that she quit claimed the home to him in 2004, and that there have been several tax liens on the property, including an IRS attachment of nearly $40,000. A contact number for Hatter Williams was unavailable.

In 1989, 16-year-old Robert Valentine was walking down the halls of Cody High School in Detroit, when Williams and his partner accosted him, according to a lawsuit filed by Antonia Walker. The officers mistakenly thought Valentine had been involved in the incident for which they had been summoned to the school. A school investigation later said he was not connected.

“Officer Eugene Williams took him, flung him head and face first against a wall, where plaintiff struck his face, mouth and head . . . breaking off four front teeth with the impact,” says the suit.

“Then he fell to the ground and was struck by the officers again without reason or provocation.”

The suit said Valentine was suspended but later readmitted after an investigation showed he had nothing to do with the original incident. The suit was dismissed after a settlement for an undisclosed amount.

For years, the Detroit Police Department has allegedly been developing a computerized system to monitor officers like Williams, who have had repeated incidents involving possible brutality.

The U.S. Justice Department monitor has also required that such a system be instituted. The most recent report available, however, indicates that the system is not operational.

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Eugene J. Williams:
-Fired from force in 1971 after a fatal hit-and-run accident while under the influence of alcohol. Reinstated 1974.

-Shot and killed 31-year-old Glenn C. Grace while off-duty, during a neighborhood dispute, June 5, 1979.

- Shot wife, Pamila Hatter Williams, in the side during a domestic dispute, June 4, 1984.

- Flung Cody student Robert Valentine against a wall, where he struck his face, mouth and head . . . breaking off four front teeth, 1989

- Killed 16-year-old Brandon Moore at Detroit’s Bel-Air Mall Nov. 26, 2006.