Ratcliffe sentencing for murder moved to Sept. 15

A 28-year-old Oak Harbor man who pleaded guilty two weeks to a charge of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon for the Feb. 18, 2016 stabbing death of a 21-year-old man in Auburn was supposed to be sentenced Monday.

But Judge Cheryl Carey moved Fritz K. Ratcliffe’s sentencing to Sept. 15.

Ratcliffe faces a sentence range of 158 to 258 months in prison. The sentencing is at 2:45 p.m. before Carey in courtroom 3F of the Maleng Regional Justice Center. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mary Barbosa is handling the case.

Here is how events unfolded that fatal evening, according to what witnesses told police and as contained in the Auburn Police Department’s Certification for Determination of Probable Cause.

According to the account, the woman arrived at the Auburn Oaks Apartments at 44 5th Street NE at about 7 p.m. after an outing with an unidentified friend. In the apartment were her eldest son, Jaseree, Ratcliffe, and her niece, who was visiting from Minnesota.

Ratcliffe, according to the police account, was upset and began to argue with the woman. The woman left the apartment with her niece to buy alcohol, but when she returned Ratcliffe was very drunk and still angry.

The two continued to argue until Ratcliffe, according to the police account, turned his aggression on Jaseree, who had come to his mother’s defense and stepped between them.

According to the police account, Ratcliffe then stabbed the young man with a six-to-seven-inch long folding knife before his mother’s horrified eyes. The woman ran out of the apartment with her niece and began knocking on the neighbors’ doors, screaming for help.

When police arrived about 10:30, Ratcliffe had already fled in his vehicle. Police found Jaseree with his legs up on a couch and his body on the floor of a small bedroom. There was blood on the floor and on a wall. Police and medics tried to revive Jaseree but he was dead.

Anacortes Police later detained Ratcliffe and Auburn detectives returned him to the SCORE jail.

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