LAKEPORT – Earlier this week a man received 240 years in prison for a laundry list of felonies committed during an attempted kidnapping and burglary last May.
On Oct. 26 a jury found Ricky Lee Johnson, 37, guilty of 13 charges, including kidnapping, robbery, residential burglary, grand theft, vandalism, and possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon.
The jury also found that Johnson personally used a firearm during the commission of the offense, and that he previously had suffered two prior serious or violent felonies (two prior strikes).
On Monday Judge Richard Martin sentenced Johnson to 240 years in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson handled the case for the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Local Attorney Ken Roush represented the defendant at trial and sentencing.
Johnson was arrested after an incident last May 24, after he and two accomplices – Melinda Ramseyer and Tommy Nace – burglarized a cabin near Lake Pillsbury.
The three were caught in the act by two women who were coming to stay at the cabin and had arrived ahead of their husbands.
When the women found the cabin completely ransacked, one of them began to load a rifle for protection, at which time Johnson jumped down from the cabin’s loft area holding a high-powered rifle.
The female victim attempted to shoot Johnson but she hadn’t yet loaded her rifle. She then grabbed Johnson's rifle, attempting to take it away from him.
Johnson gained control over the two female victims and at gunpoint forced them to walk down to a creek away from the cabins. He then let them go while he fled on foot to an unknown location.
Within several minutes the victims' husbands arrived on scene and, after hearing what had occurred, attempted to locate the suspect without success.
The authorities were called, and Lake County Sheriff's deputies, US Forest Service peace officers and a REACH helicopter immediately began a search for Johnson, Ramseyer and Nace, but were unable to locate them.
Two days later, one of the female victims was on foot checking the remote area of her property for signs of her stolen property when she found a makeshift camp that contained some of her property. She also found a backpack containing a wallet, which contained Johnson's identification card.
She called the sheriff's dispatch center, and LCSO deputies met her at the Soda Creek Store near Lake Pillsbury. As they began to drive together to the camp's location they passed Johnson walking along the road by himself. The woman recognized him and deputies arrested him without incident.
Johnson admitted kidnapping the two women during the burglary and also identified Nace and Ramseyer, who were arrested a short time later.
Deputies also learned after checking into Johnson's background that he had just gotten out of prison and was a parolee at large.
LCSO eventually recovered 95 percent of the stolen property, which was valued at $10,000 and included firearms.
Nace and Ramseyer both pleaded guilty to residential burglary last June, and on July 21 Martin sentenced both to prison – Nace for six years and Ramseyer for four years.
E-mail Elizabeth Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org.