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Updated: 5:35 a.m. Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Posted: 2:47 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Convicted Child Killer Denied Parole


Therressa Jolynn Ritchie


The Ohio Parole Board said Theressa Jolynn Ritchie will spend at least ten more years behind bars for the murder of her daughter.

The board heard a plea Wednesday from the Dayton woman who was convicted in the beating death of her 4-year-old daughter Samantha.

Ritchie, who has served 15 years, begged for parole in a closed hearing. However, thousands of people opposed her early release.

When Ritchie was convicted, the judge sentenced her to 21 years to life in prison. Now, 15 years later, she was asking for an early release and that had her ex-husband and Samantha’s father very upset.

“I hate her for what she did,” Denton Ritchie said. "She did a heinous crime and deserves to rot."

Jolynn Ritchie will remain behind bars at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville for at least the next ten years. She cannot go back before the parole board until 2020.

Prosecutors said after a night of heavy partying, Ritchie struck her daughter with a cast on her arm and killed her.

Ritchie then called police and reported her daughter missing, sparking a week-long search that involved hundreds of volunteers from the community. Samantha’s body was found submerged at the bottom of a watery pit off Webster Street.

Denton Ritchie said he approached the Parole Board two weeks ago with a petition of more than 1,000 signatures supporting her continued incarceration.

“I did everything in my power to keep her where she is at for the simple reason you never know. There’s nothing guaranteed,” he said.

This is a fight that Denton Ritchie said he is determined to continue every time his ex-wife has a chance at freedom.

"As long as I’m breathing, I'm going to keep her there," he said. "That’s where she’s going to be.”

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