NKY father, son charged with plotting to beat up judge in son’s child porn case

NKY father, son charged with plotting to beat up judge in son’s child porn case
Police allege a plot to assault a Northern Kentucky judge and attorney

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - A father and son in Northern Kentucky face criminal charges after police say they plotted to assault a lawyer and a judge.

Preston Ritter Sr. and Peston Ritter Jr. are in jail accused of conspiring against Kenton County District Court Judge Douglas Grothaus and attorney Darryl Cox.

The events follow Ritter Jr.‘s arrest in early June in Elsmere on 45 counts of possessing or viewing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

“While Preston Ritter Jr. was in jail, Sr. called a Kenton County police detective, the one that arrested and investigated Jr., and left threatening voicemail messages on that detective’s voicemail at the Kenton County Police Department, so he was arrested,” Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders explained.

Ritter Sr. hired an attorney to bail out his son. Then, according to Sanders, while in jail, Ritter Sr. conspired with another inmate to have his son post the inmate’s bond if the inmate “beat up” Grothaus and Cox with a baseball bat.

Police say the father and son planned a piece of the attack during several jail calls which were recorded.

The criminal complaint reads the inmate told police that Ritter Sr. wanted to beat the judge and attorney “because of his current legal situation and because he remained incarcerated.”

It goes on to read: “(The inmate) explained their plan to beat Cox and Grothaus with baseball bats after they were bonded out of jail.”

When police asked if the intention was to kill them, the inmate replied: “Nobody specifically mentioned killing anyone, but that could happen with a baseball bat.”

Police say the inmate told them he only agreed to the plan because Ritter Jr. was going to bond him out of jail and pay him for help with the attack.

“Judges don’t normally get threatened, and prosecutors don’t get threatened as much, because it usually brings a lot of heat down on the defendants, and they know that,” Sanders explained.

Ritter Sr. faces 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Ritter Jr. faces 20 years on the child porn charges and 20 more years on the conspiracy charges.

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