Grain Valley man convicted of stabbing estranged wife to death

LIBERTY, Mo. — A Grain Valley man has been found guilty in Clay County court in the brutal stabbing death of his estranged wife.

Larry Ratliff, 70, was convicted of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the murder of Carolyn Ratliff.

A jury recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder charge and 40 years in prison for armed criminal action.

On Jan. 4, 2016, police received a 911 call from a family member from Warrensburg, Mo.

Larry Ratliff

The family member said Larry Ratliff had killed his wife at a residence at 10215 N. E. 38th Street in Kansas City, Mo.  According to the victim’s sister, that’s her home, and she says Carolyn had been staying with her because she wanted a divorce.

According to police, both of the couple’s daughters reportedly received calls from Ratliff, leaving a voicemail saying, “I stabbed your mom. I killed her.”

When police responded, they say they found Ratliff crying in the driveway, where he allegedly told officers he stabbed his wife four times in the chest. He told police she was inside the home.

Ratliff, who testified in his own defense, claimed that he inadvertently pulled a hunting knife out while trying to get his cell phone and once he had the knife, he snapped and began stabbing Carolyn.

According to the prosecutor’s office, jurors were shown video where Ratliff detailed to officers how he planned and carried out the murder.

“It’s chilling. He demonstrates no affect, no tears. Nothing,” said Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White.

Ratliff will appear in court Dec. 5 for a motions and possible sentencing hearing.

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