CORRECTION: A former version of this story claimed that Ridley served 36 days in jail. After doing the math, it turns out he served only 19 days in jail. Details at the bottom of the story.
Mark Ridley, a longtime Muskogee police officer, was convicted this year of assaulting his wife, kidnapping her at gunpoint and forcing her to strip at gunpoint. As part of a plea agreement, charges that he forced her to give him oral sex at gunpoint were dropped when he pleaded no contest to the charges.
In June, Ridley was sentenced to serve 52 weekends in the Cherokee County Jail in lieu of serving his six-month sentence all at once.
On last Friday, having served only 12 weekends, his case came before Judge Jeff Payton at the Muskogee County District Court to determine if his sentence had been served.
Payton ruled that it was up to Muskogee County Sheriff Rob Frazier to determine if the sentence had been served.
Frazier said that, using a “common practice” of doubling time served in a county jail, Ridley had indeed served all of the time to which he was sentenced (see update below), and Ridley was released from further jail time.
Due to the dropping of the forced sodomy charge in exchange for the no-contest plea, Ridley also will not be required to register as a sex offender.
In the case, Ridley was alleged to have rammed his ex-wife’s vehicle with his vehicle, forcing her to drive off the roadway, “resulting in severe damage to her vehicle. He then forced her at gunpoint to get into his vehicle, where he then drove her back to their residence ... against her will. He then forced her to go to the bedroom and remove her clothes at gunpoint and perform oral sex on him without her consent.”
Having served only 12 weekends of the 52 he was supposed to serve in jail, Ridley is now free,
due to the determination by Frazier that he had satisfied his sentence (see below).
UPDATE: Ridley served 12 weekends at the Tahlequah City Jail, according to officers there. The weekends were from 8 p.m. Friday night to 10 a.m. Sunday morning, a total of 38 hours. All 12 weekends added up to 456 hours total of jail time. Divided by 24, that equals 19 days, not the 36 that was earlier stated.
A Muskogee lawyer sent the following messages to MuskogeeNOW:
“If he was my client and they offered 10 years at 85 percent, I would have told my client to take it,” the lawyer said. “Nineteen days and deferred with no sex offender registry is just unheard of.”
UPDATE 11:15 a.m./CLARIFICATION: Sheriff Rob Frazier just called and objected to the idea that he determined Ridley had served his sentence.
“Only a judge can determine whether an inmate has served most of his time,” he said. “They came down, his attorney and the DA handling the case. I explained to them that, since Muskogee County recused themselves, the only thing I did is we give them a sheet of paper that says how much time an inmate had spent in our facility. He spent 24 days in our facility when the crime happened.”
Ridley’s attorney, Donn Baker, Frazier said, “got it where he could serve in Tahlequah City. Then, evidently, he doesn’t show up for two of his weekends, Tahlequah City asked one of my employees if they could speak to her regarding Mark Ridley. The employee gave them the 24 days, but added the weekends that he spent at Tahlequah City. So since then, I let her know in the future, we don’t speak for other counties. We only speak for Muskogee County.”
Ultimately, all the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office did, Frazier said, was release information about the 24 days Ridley served in the Muskogee County Jail just after he was arrested.