Chief Ricketts’ killer up for parole hearing in June



Earl Ralph Jacobs, who was convicted of gunning down West Liberty Police Chief Sherman Ricketts on June 29, 1962, is scheduled to appear in June before the Ohio Parole Board.

The 76-year-old convict is currently housed at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

He was sentenced to life in prison and entered the prison system Nov. 8, 1962.

On the day of Chief Rickett’s death, Jacobs, a paroled convict from Adrian, Mich., was driving a car he had stolen 12 days earlier in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The police chief had received a call about a suspicious vehicle parked in front of the West Liberty Presbyterian Church along Columbus Street and went to investigate.

During a gunfight, Chief Ricketts was shot 10 times by Jacobs, who, murder trial testimony showed, turned up in the village by accident, taking a “wrong turn” on his way to or from Russells Point.

Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee in his letter to the parole board said, “He did not shoot at (Chief) Ricketts once, twice or three times, Earl Ralph Jacobs shot Sherman Ricketts 10 times. To do this, he not only had to empty the weapon used, but he also had to reload the weapon and again fire every bullet that weapon held.

“In fact, when discovered and apprehended by others arriving at the scene, he was in the process of reloading yet again.

“How can we ever believe that someone, so intent upon taking the life of another, could be rehabilitated or cured?”

The convicted murderer was wounded by Chief Ricketts in the gunfight.

The convict entered prison Nov. 8, 1962. In 1989, he was convicted of escape from an honor camp in Hocking County and two counts of theft in Ross County.

Letters regarding his parole should be mailed to: Cynthia Mausser, Parole Board Chair, Adult Parole Authority, 770 W. Broad St., Columbus OH 43222.