Unicoi County stabbing murder case reset for plea deadline

Becky Campbell • Updated Apr 16, 2018 at 8:10 PM

ERWIN — The plea deadline for a Unicoi County woman charged in a 2017 deadly stabbing was delayed until June, but the case could be set for trial if the attorneys involved can’t reach an agreement for a plea.

Ricina Patrick, 30, remains jailed on a $500,000 bond on a first-degree murder charge for the Feb 27, 2017, stabbing death of Ricky Lynn Price, 55, inside the Tipton Street home where they lived in Erwin. Police and sheriff’s deputies responded to the residence around 10 a.m. that morning after a neighbor called about a man bleeding on their front porch.

Price collapsed on a neighbor’s porch after trying to get help after the stabbing, leaving a trail of blood behind him. He told officers that Patrick had stabbed him.

During the hearing Monday before Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street, defense attorney Mitch Manuel said he needed the case reset one more time, and if he and Assistant District Attorney General Todd Hull couldn’t reach a plea agreement for Patrick, the case would be set for trial.

Testimony during an August 2017 preliminary hearing from a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent Scott Lott indicated he believed the stabbing incident began in a hallway area near the master bedroom due to the amount of blood there. He said blood was located on several items, including a comforter in the master bedroom. The knife investigators believe was used in the stabbing was located in another bedroom under a pile of clothes, Lott said. It was one of the last items investigators found while searching the house and it appeared to be “a chef knife,” he said.

Patrick has previously been found competent to stand trial.

During a brief court recess, Patrick waved and blew kisses toward a couple in the audience, and they returned those silent communications. At one point, it appeared that Patrick and another female inmate sitting beside her were holding hands and praying. She didn’t speak during the short appearance before Street.

Street reset the case for June 1.

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