Redding
68° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Red Bluff
68° F
Clear
Clear
Chico
64° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

Suspects set to stand trial in grisly triple murder case

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Mar 04 2014 08:33:17 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2014 08:00:00 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

Three people in two separate but intertwined grisly murder cases will be tried for murder.

Tuesday they had their preliminary hearing in a Shasta County Courtroom.

All three of the suspects sat throughout the preliminary hearing together.

Joshua McCormick and Rebecca Wilson are charged with murdering two people in Ingot last October.

Byron Willis also sat with the pair.

Willis is accused of killing another man in November in Redding, the victim's body was discovered in a burning truck on Bass Pond Road in Millville.

"There's you know literally probably hundreds of interviews that the Sheriff's Office has done," said Shasta County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ben Hanna.

But on Tuesday Hanna called just one witness to the stand.

Detective Mark Haslam detailed what the course of the extensive investigation revealed.

First investigators responded to property in Ingot where two bodies with gunshot wounds had been discovered.

Haslam said  two of the suspects, Wilson and McCormick had gone to the property with plans to burglarize it, accompanied by an another man, Eric Ratledge.

According to detectives they brought zip ties and a shot gun in case they encountered anyone.

They came across two men on the property, both of them allegedly shot by McCormick.

Haslam said in an interview Wilson told him she was "looking for items to take in the home when she heard a gunshot."

Wilson told Haslam she "kept saying she wanted to leave and McCormick and Ratledge calmed her down and said it would be OK."

When McCormick was interviewed about the incident he said he went to the location "to look for, steal, money or drugs."

Haslam testified McCormick admitted he told one of the victims to turn around before he shot him in the back of the head because "he didn't want to look him in the eyes."

Byron Willis came into the picture about nine days later.

Ratledge was sleeping at an east Redding home, the same home where Wilson and McCormick lived.

Detectives said Willis showed up enraged because of an affair Ratledge had with his estranged wife.

He allegedly shot and beat Ratledge with a metal bar.

When McCormick saw what happened he too shot Ratledge in the head to, "put him out of his misery."

Ratledge's body was then taken out to Millville where it was found burning in a truck.

According to another witness who Haslam interviewed during the investigation, McCormick was cleaning up the home using bleach and rags and painting walls.

Wilson also said she was cleaning the home later and found a piece of an ear.

Wilson is accused of being an accessory to Ratledge's murder because she allegedly helped cover it up.

McCormick, Wilson and Willis will be back in court March 17, where they will be re-arraigned on the information presented in the preliminary hearing. 

Hanna said his office is preparing.

"The district attorney, the Sheriff's Office are just trying to give the family members some sense of justice that those who took their loved ones from them will be held accountable," Hanna said.