Man pleads guilty in 2017 stabbing death, sentenced to 25 years in prison
A Madison man who slashed and stabbed his roommate as many as 100 times at their South Side apartment last year was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree reckless homicide.
Dane County Circuit Judge William Hanrahan said Ronald E. Redeaux, 28, committed a “particularly brutal and vicious attack” on Gerald Moore, 52, that by its nature was far from a momentary and impulsive act like that of pulling the trigger on a gun.
“There was a tremendous amount of force required to plunge a knife into your friend’s body over and over again,” Hanrahan said. “It’s a degree of depravity and inhumanity we rarely see.”
Redeaux was originally charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the June 24, 2017, attack at the West Badger Road apartment where Moore and Redeaux lived but pleaded guilty to a lesser crime under a plea agreement. Assistant District Attorney Valerian Powell and state Assistant Public Defenders Diana Van Rybroek and Luis Cuevas also agreed to recommend the 25-year prison sentence, followed by 15 years of extended supervision.
According to a criminal complaint, Redeaux told police that he and Moore, who had been in a romantic relationship for about six years, had been smoking crack cocaine when Redeaux became suspicious that Moore was planning to hurt him. They fought, he said, and then Moore went to the kitchen, where Redeaux said he appeared to be looking for something.
Redeaux said he grabbed a pair of scissors from a drawer that Moore had opened and first stabbed him with those, the complaint states, then used a knife to continue stabbing him.
At one point he told police that after attacking Moore with the scissors, Moore still appeared to be breathing, so he got the knife in order to “finish the situation,” the complaint states.
In court Tuesday, Moore’s sister, Velvet Moore, a retired corrections sergeant for the state Department of Corrections, recounted how she learned of her brother’s death from a police officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she now lives, and could not believe it because she had just spoken with him. Hearing the news, she said, she fell to the floor, screaming.
“I couldn’t imagine who would ever want to hurt my brother,” she said. “I’ve never known him to initiate a fight.”
Learning of the extensive injuries to his face, she thought he could be made presentable for an open-casket funeral. But when she saw his body at a funeral home in Milwaukee, Moore said, he was nearly unrecognizable.
“What Ronald Redeaux did to my brother, it was no ‘bad decision,’” she said. “It was the most brutal murder I have ever known.”
Redeaux has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, Van Rybroek said, but while he is mentally ill, a doctor who examined him could not say that psychosis compelled his behavior to the degree that supported a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
The case against Redeaux was suspended between January and June while Redeaux was treated at a state mental hospital after being found incompetent to stand trial.
Redeaux never intended to go to trial, Van Rybroek said, and always intended to take responsibility for what he did.
Redeaux apologized to Moore’s family and said he killed Moore during “an altercation that shouldn’t have happened. I’m deeply regretful for my actions that I took that day.”