An Akron woman who contends she stabbed her boyfriend in self-defense has been charged with murder.
Lillian Marie Ritchey, 47, was booked into the Summit County Jail on Thursday morning. Akron city prosecutors charged her with one count of murder in the stabbing death of Brian Knight, 39.
Police said Ritchey stabbed her boyfriend in the chest with a kitchen knife during a quarrel Saturday night inside their Victoria Avenue home. An autopsy performed over the weekend determined Knight died of a chest wound.
Ritchey called 911 about 11 p.m. after the stabbing, police said. Reports show the woman appeared to have been “beaten badly” in the fight.
But during the emergency call, Ritchey never mentioned stabbing Knight, nor did she request help for him.
She told a dispatcher she needed a paramedic for her own injuries.
“My emergency is, I got beat up and I had to defend myself,” Ritchey says in the recorded phone call.
The dispatcher then goes on to ask for a name and description of Knight.
“Why the hell does that matter?” Ritchey responded.
The dispatcher, unaware of Knight’s injury as he lay dying inside the home, asks Ritchey if any weapons were involved.
“I don’t know,” she said.
“You didn’t see a weapon?” the dispatcher asks.
“No, I did not. … He threatened to kill me,” Ritchey says.
The dispatcher asks the woman where she was hurt.
“Everywhere. You’ll see when you get here.”
Ritchey declined comment when reached by phone earlier this week. Family members could not be reached for comment Thursday.
An attorney for Ritchey could not be immediately identified.
Craig Morgan, an assistant Akron prosecutor who approved filing the case, said he would not discuss why Ritchey was charged with murder or why authorities did not believe her claim of self-defense.
He and police detectives listened to the 911 call and reviewed interviews of Ritchey before deciding to charge her.
“It’s a delicate case that we thoroughly reviewed before coming to a decision,” Morgan said.
An arraignment hearing is scheduled for today before Akron Municipal Judge Katarina Cook.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.