Former Muskogee Police Officer completes sentence for kidnapping estranged wife at gunpoint

MUSKOGEE -- A judge found that a former Muskogee police officer has completed the jail portion of his sentence for kidnapping his estranged wife at gunpoint.

Mark Ridley Jr. entered a blind plea of no contest to a count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony in February of 2017. 

Misty Martin-Sullins, the victim in the case, said in January of 2014, her estranged husband, Ridley, rammed her car with his and totaled it. She said he forced her at gunpoint to get into his car and drove her to his house where he made her perform sex acts still at gunpoint. Earlier that day, Martin filed a protective order against Ridley. 

Muskogee County Officials recused themselves from the case completely. 

Ridley was given a 10-year deferred sentence by Judge Jeff Payton and ordered to serve a year of weekends in county jail. 

Thirteenth District Attorney Kenny Wright, who was a prosecutor in the case, said his understanding was the court wanted Ridley to be able to continue working at his new job during the week.

Ridley is no longer a police officer. Wright said he is no longer certified by the state as law enforcement because of the case. 

He served 24 days in Muskogee County Jail when he was originally arrested. He also served 12 weekends in Tahlequah Jail. Every weekend he served counted as three days. 

Tahlequah booking reports show Ridley arrived at the jail on Fridays between 7:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.  and would leave on Sundays between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. 

"When you walk into a courtroom and a judge hands out a sentence of ten years deferred for a man who was supposed to cherish you and take care of you but ultimately in the end tried to kill you, I think that is unjust," Martin said. 

A hearing with the prosecution and defense was held behind closed doors on Wednesday to determine if his jail sentence was completed. Ultimately, officials determined it had been.

"We agreed on what the law was," Wright said. "We agree on what the facts are. There wasn't anything to be addressed. There wasn't a need to have a record on it outside the court minute that memorialized what the court did today." 

"When you speak out and you get slapped in the face and other victims see that there is no justice when you walk in a courtroom, they don't speak out," Martin said.

Adam Weintraub, 2 Works For You's legal analyst, said a ten year sentence in this case is not surprising, but the fact that it is deferred is unusual. 

He said by entering a blind plea and allowing the judge to determine his sentence, Ridley avoided a jury hearing the details of the case and throwing the book at him. 

Weintraub said his job as a police officer could also have played a role in the sentence. 

"We had someone who at least at one point in his life was concerned about the public well-being and that may well have played in the court's decision," Weintraub said. 

Martin and her family are riddled with fear, but they are determined not to be victims.

"We will stand tall," Martin said. "We will take this. We will move forward and I will be the voice for other victims." 

She said she plans to attend walks for domestic violence and speak at events.

If Ridley violates his probation, because of his deferred sentence, he will have to serve the remainder of the sentence behind bars.

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