A federal judge dismissed a woman’s lawsuit against a police official who she says wrongly labeled her late husband a suspect in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping.
Angela Ricci had alleged that Cory Mack Lyman, a lieutenant and later captain who led the kidnapping investigation, blamed her husband Richard Ricci to avoid allegations of incompetence and to “satisfy the public’s need to identify a suspect.” Ricci was arrested on separate charges.
But U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart ruled Wednesday that Lyman “did not arrest Mr. Ricci, or provide any input on the conditions of his incarceration.” He also ruled there was no evidence that Lyman, who is now the police chief in Ketchum, Idaho, was responsible for disclosing Ricci’s name publicly.
Richard Ricci was arrested on a parole violation and returned to prison nine days after then-14-year-old Elizabeth Smith was kidnapped from her bedroom in June 2002. Ricci confessed to stealing jewelry and other items from the family, but denied having anything to do with the kidnapping. He insisted he was at home asleep at the time.
On March 12, 2003, Elizabeth Smart was found with self-styled prophet Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee, who were both charged in the abduction. They have been deemed incompetent to stand trial.
Ricci suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage while being held in prison.