Marshall Co. man pleads guilty in 15-year-old Jason Richards’ 2015 death

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — A guilty plea brought an end to a case that was in the spotlight for weeks in Marshall County.

Ryan Anthony Fitch plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of 15-year-old Jason Richards. Fitch was 18 at the time of his friend’s 2015 accidental shooting death in Albertville.

The judge set Fitch’s sentencing hearing for November 20 at 9:00 a.m.

A judge denied Fitch’s youthful offender status request last year.

Jason Richards

Fitch and another male juvenile were implicated in the case. Police said Fitch and the other person were Richards’ friends and that the gunshot that killed him was not an intentional act.

During the investigation, police say they discovered Richards died of a single gunshot wound to the head, which happened at a home on Miller Street in Albertville on the night of his initial disappearance, February 8.

“The investigation uncovered that the gunshot was not an intentional act, but an unintentional discharge of a .25 caliber handgun by Fitch that caused the death of Richards,” then Albertville Police Chief Doug Pollard said, “They were actually in there with a gun, a loaded gun, handing it around and it went off.”

Police say after Richards was shot, Fitch and the juvenile panicked.  They didn’t call for help, but instead took Richards’ body and dumped him in Langston on Lois Lane.  His body was found in May.