KANSAS CITY NORTH — A man who told police how he planned and carried out the 2016 murder of his estranged wife was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus another 40 years on Thursday, Dec. 5, said Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White in a press release.
Jurors deliberated for 79 minutes Sept. 11 before convicting Larry Ratliff, 70, of Grain Valley, of first degree murder and armed criminal action in the stabbing death of Carolyn Ratliff on Jan. 4, 2016. Judge Shane T. Alexander imposed the sentence jurors assessed after a three-day trial.
Carolyn Ratliff was 65 when she died of multiple stab wounds at a family member’s home off Northeast 38th Street in Kansas City North, said the prosecutor.
During the three-day trial, jurors viewed a video that showed Larry shortly after the murder, detailing for officers how he planned and carried out Carolyn’s death, a press release states.
In the video, Larry talked about stalking Carolyn and watching her from a distance to ensure she was alone. He also told officers he taunted the woman as she lay dying, said White.
“It’s chilling. He demonstrates no affect, no sign of remorse. No weeping, nothing,” said White.
During the trial, Larry said he inadvertently pulled a hunting knife from a sheath while trying to retrieve his cellphone. Once he had the knife in his hand, he said he lost control and started stabbing Carolyn.
“Mistaking a hunting knife for a cellphone," White said, "that strains credulity.”