During the early morning hours of May 22, 1975, Deputy Richter was called to investigate a report of a suspicious vehicle in a residential neighborhood. Richter called in the vehicle’s license plate number to dispatch then he approached the suspect vehicle.
Richter never stood a chance. As soon as he approached, Green opened shot him in the face at point blank range. Green then fled the scene, callously leaving Richter to die alone in the street. A resident who heard the shot rushed to Richter’s side and found him drowning in a pool of his own blood. Richter’s firearm was still in its holster. The civilian used Richter’s radio to call for help. Richter was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Authorities identified the shooter by the license plate, and a statewide manhunt ensued. Green was soon apprehended and charged with Richter’s murder. Initially, Green claimed that the firearm “went off accidentally”. However, perhaps realizing that a jury would not believe this story, Green pleaded guilty to Richter’s murder in order to avoid the death penalty. Green’s only justification for his actions was that he “didn’t want to go back to prison.”
Richter, 23, was a 1969 graduate of Twin Valley South High School. Although he had only served with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for 28 months, he was well known and loved by the community of West Alexandria and the surrounding area. He had served with Montgomery County for only eighteen months. Montgomery County named the firearms training academy in his honor.
One of Kent’s fellow officers wrote on the Officer Down Website:
“Randy and I worked together as police cadets at Fairborn (OH) P.D. He was one of the most upbeat and caring officers with whom I ever served. He was faithful in his duties to his department and the citizens he served. I was a new officer in Florida when I heard of Randy’s senseless death,” another officer commented. “His passing was a loss to the fraternity and a loss to the community. After over 30 years, he is still missed by those who knew him. This perhaps is the greatest testament to his life and character
Lee Brams wrote: “’I’m not a law enforcement officer, but knew Randy throughout my elementary school years in West Alexandria, Ohio. I hadn’t seen him for many years when I heard of his senseless murder in Dayton, but was shocked and stunned; it changed the way I viewed law enforcement personnel forever, realizing the risks they face on every call. I haven’t forgotten him; almost thirty years have now passed that I have been able to live, but he has not, because one individual placed no value on Randy’s life.
Richter was orphaned when he was 16. Although he had endured personal difficulties, he chose to devote his life to serving others. Richter has been described as “a great guy who made everyone laugh.”
“My Uncle Randy was a special person. I believe it takes a special person to be a law enforcement officer,” said Richter’s niece, Angela Moses Osborne. “He was never bitter about losing his parents so young. He made everyone laugh. He was the best uncle in the world. That’s why it was no surprise when he went into law enforcement. He cared about people.”
Green was no stranger to the legal system. He was already a convicted felon who had recently been released on parole. In spite of this, Green was sentenced to 25 years to life. According to deputies, Green behaved like an animal at the time of his arrest. He has never shown any remorse for his actions.
The family had been erroneously informed that there was no chance that Green would ever be released. However, in 1975 there was no option for giving a life sentence with no chance of parole to criminals convicted of aggravated murder. According to Osborne, the parole board informed the family in 2007 that “after 30 years, anything can happen. Sometimes the board thinks they’ve served enough time.” This is Green’s third parole hearing.
The fact that this cold blooded murderer may walk free because of those sentencing restrictions is an outrage to Richter’s family and to the law enforcement community. The Montgomery County Sheriff, the Montgomery County Prosecutor, close friends, and family written letters to the parole board requesting they deny his parole; however, it may not be enough to persuade the board. All are pleading for intervention, to help them communicate the message: “Do NOT set this cop killer free!”
“I don’t think he’s done serving his punishment,” Osborne said.” I hope the parole board will take that into consideration and deny his parole. But hope isn’t enough.”
“All we are doing here now is asking the community for which he gave his life for to help keep his killer from getting out of prison,” Leon Daidone, Chief of the Criminal Division for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, said in 2007. Daidone said the whole community is affected by a crime like Green’s, not just the family involved. “When someone executes a police officer in cold blood, it is an affront to the entire system,” he said.
“Richter was just ambushed,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. “Donald Green pled out to life in prison, and we’re asking just for that: life in prison.”
Osborne has stated that although they have forgiven Green, they feel that the only way justice will be served is that Green serves his full sentence. “Our family doesn’t want him to get out – not just because we feel it’s about justice. Our fear is that he is still a very real threat to society. Our belief is that anyone who would kill a law enforcement officer for no apparent reason, would kill anyone – even 32 years later.”
“There was no real motive other than the fact that my uncle had the audacity to wear a badge and the uniform of a law enforcement officer.” The fact that a repeat offender is even being considered for parole is a travesty of justice If a man convicted of murdering a police officer ever given the chance of parole? What is the price of a man’s life? What does it say to society when a cop-killer with no regard for human life walks free? And, worst of all, why does any family have to go through all this again?”
According to the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police website, the Richter family had been told at Richter’s 2007 parole hearing, “After 30 years, anything can happen. Sometimes the board thinks they’ve served enough time.”
“My uncle never had a chance to live,” Osborne said. “Donald Green took that from him. As far as I’m concerned Donald Green forfeited his chance to live a free life. I’m hoping others who feel the same way will express their views to the parole board.”
Richter, 23, was a 1969 graduate of Twin Valley South High School. Although he had only served with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for 28 months, he was well known and loved by the community. Richter had been described as “a great guy, who made everyone laugh.” I ask that the LET family honor Richter by faxing this letter below:
Letters should be faxed to:
Ohio Parole Board
Office of Victim Services
770 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43222
Dear Parole Board Members,
I respectfully ask that you DENY PAROLE to Donald Green, inmate #A143231. This inmate’s violent murder of Deputy Sheriff Randal Richter in 1975 should preclude any consideration for parole.
On May 22, 1975, Deputy Richter was shot in the head by inmate #A143231 as the deputy checked on this inmate’s suspicious behavior. When inmate #A143231 so coldly murdered Deputy Richter, he was already out on parole for previous crimes.
This inmate has repeatedly shown that he is a menace and danger to society. If he was willing to murder a police officer while already out on parole once, it is clear he won’t hesitate to do it again should be released back into society. To release this offender into society would be a travesty and a slap in the face to both Richter’s family and to the entire law enforcement community.
As a concerned citizen and in the interest of public safety, I again respectfully ask that you DENY PAROLE to inmate #A143231. Justice demands that he be made to spend every remaining day of his life in prison.
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