CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — The man who pleaded guilty to the 2006 murder of a woman he raped and tortured — and videotaped — was back in court Tuesday for similar crimes against another woman.
On Tuesday, Richard Davis, 48, pleaded guilty to the 2006 murder of Michelle Huff-Ricci, 36. Huff-Ricci’s remains were found in Clay County. She had been sexually assaulted. She, along with Marsha Spicer, were murdered by Davis in 2006. Spicer’s death was caught on tape. She was suffocated during sex in an Independence apartment complex.
Assisting Davis in his sex crimes and murder was Dena Riley, 40, who had previously pleaded guilty for her role in the murder and sexual assault of Spicer. On Tuesday, Riley pleaded guilty for role in the murder of Huff-Ricci.
Davis told a judge in Clay County that he put his hands over Huff-Ricci’s mouth, suffocating her. He says he did it because he thought she would turn him in.
“Can you imagine dying the way her and that other lady died?” said Michael Lee, Huff-Ricci’s ex-husband. “It’s the worst way to die.”
Huff-Ricci’s family sat in the courtroom during the hearing. Lee, the father of Huff-Ricci’s sons, sobbing.
“I wanted them to jump over there and get that dude,” he said. “It took my sons to keep me under control because she was the love of my life.”
Riley also acknowledged that she helped Davis suffocate and kill Huff-Ricci.
“It was wrong for them to kill someone,” said Stephanie Ricci, Michelle’s 17-year-old daughter. “She was only 36. I mean, she didn’t hurt nobody. She was so sweet.”
Riley spoke through terms when the judge asked her if she understood her guilty plea. She broke down when Huff-Ricci’s family addressed the court with how the murder affected them. Davis sat emotionless, saying only it shouldn’t have happened and he is sorry.
“I think Ms. Riley is maybe a little more in touch with reality,” said Ricci’s cousin Karen Shannon. “I don’t think he has been for a very long time.”
While the family says they would like to see both Riley and Davis die, they also say they are happy the case is now closed and Davis and Riley will never walk out of prison.
“I want them to die,” said Stephanie Ricci. “I want them to get the death penalty, both of them.”
“He took the mother of my children,” Lee said. “Being a Christian man, I want him to burn. I want him to go to hell.”
Davis and Riley are currently serving time for the crimes against Spicer. Davis was sentenced to death. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, sodomy and sexual assault and admitted he, along with Dena Riley, videotaped the attack.
In a plea deal with prosecutors, Riley avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the attack against Spicer. As part of her plea deal, Riley was sentenced to life without parole and to eight additional life sentences and to 239 years in prison.