Ragsdale ordered to stand trial for wife's murder

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(Photos: Scott Winterton, Deseret News)

Sam Penrod and Randall Jeppesen reporting

The man accused of gunning down his wife in a church parking lot pleaded not guilty after a judge ordered him to stand trial.

The judge ruled Monday that David Ragsdale will stand trial for aggravated murder, which means prosecutors have the option of seeking the death penalty. And now it appears Ragsdale is ready to take his case to trial, arguing he was overloaded on anti-depressants and other prescription drugs.

For nearly an hour, Ann Palizzi was on the witness stand, testifying about watching from just eight feet away as her daughter was murdered. She recounted the horrific moments when Kristy's estranged husband, David, opened fire, testifying he emptied his gun into her like it was target practice.

Ann Palizzi
Ann Palizzi

Kristy Ragsdale was shot a total of 12 times, leaving 26 entry and exit wounds on her body.

Palizzi said, "[It was] pretty emotional. But I have the flashbacks, memories in my mind. It's imprinted in my mind, so hopefully now I can start forgetting those details instead of having the reruns going over and over and over."

Ragsdale's family may be preparing for an SSRI defense, arguing a combination of several prescription drugs was a factor in the shooting.

His sister Tamara Ragsdale said, "We believe David is innocent by virtue of his mental condition and would ask the public and press not to judge until the evidence is in. We believe it will speak for itself."

Ragsdale ordered to stand trial for wife's murder

Prosecutors have two months to decide if they will seek the death penalty against Ragsdale if he is convicted.

Prosecutor David Sturgill said, "We actually have 60 days to decide from today whether or not we are going to seek this as a capital felony."

The victim's family is first seeking justice, and they say then they will consider mercy. But Kristy's mother isn't surprised David Ragsdale hasn't already taken responsibility for his actions.

"I honestly feel that David Ragsdale has learned to lie and manipulate himself through life, and he thinks that he can lie and manipulate himself out of this, as well," she said.

Ann Palizzi has custody of the Ragsdale's two young boys, ages 4 and 2. Both she and the children remain in trauma therapy, and she says the counseling is helping the boys move on from this tragedy.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com
E-mail: rjeppesen@ksl.com


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