Ryan Richard’s name was in the news months ago for other reasons than the charges that led to his sentencing Thursday.
An investigation of Richard over an alleged murder-for-hire plan to kill former Centre County Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob, who prosecuted the witness intimidation and threat charges, led to the court order at the center of forgery allegations made against District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.
A search warrant Bellefonte police used to search Parks Miller’s office earlier this year and the grand jury report that eventually exonerated her of the forgery claims provided details.
While an inmate at Centre County Correctional Facility, Richard allegedly asked another inmate at the jail, Robert Albro, to help him find a hit man to kill Boob in spring 2013. Albro was at the prison awaiting trial on drug charges being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.
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Albro contacted state police about the conversations, and it was decided to send a state trooper wearing a wire pretending to be the hit man into the prison to talk to Richard about the plan. As part of the ruse to get Richard to incriminate himself, it was decided to craft a false bail order to make it appear Albro had been released and arranged for the hit man to visit when in fact, Albro was transferred to Clearfield County Jail under a false name.
Michelle Shutt, a former paralegal with the District Attorney’s Office, alleged that Parks Miller ordered her to write the order so it appeared that Ruest wrote it and that Parks Miller signed the judge’s name to the document to be filed with the prothonotary.
Parks Miller denied signing the document and maintains Ruest signed it. The judge testified before the grand jury she can’t remember if she signed the order or not.
Boob left the District Attorney’s Office in April to become a prosecutor in another county.
Richard was never charged for solicitation of homicide.