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‘I did not do this’ Henrico murder suspect whispered in court

Posted at 1:13 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 13:13:33-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Ricardo Green, a 47-year-old Henrico man charged with murdering his grandmother Bernice Pannell, arrived to court in a wheelchair Thursday. During his hearing, an attorney requested Green undergo a psychological evaluation.

Ricardo Green

Ricardo Green

Green's one family member in attendance said, as a child, Green would go through drastic mood swings.

"He was quick to go into a rage and then he would calm down," aunt Dorris Wingfield said. "[He was] very loving [and would] want to hug you and I never thought that it would carry to this level."

Dorris Wingfield

Wingfield said she was struggling with that fact her sister Bernice's life was taken in a "cruel way." She said she believed Green was responsible.

"I'm struggling with it because Ricky did it - her grandson," Wingfield expressed after court. "I wanted to hear him say why he did it."

But instead, as Green was wheeled out of court, he whispered to his aunt that he "did not do this."

Wingfield said she believed her nephew needed help.

"That is what I was drawing from that, 'I did not do that,' but there was something in me that made me do that," she said.

Bernice Pannell

Green was charged shortly after Pannell was found dead in her bedroom in December. He is due back in court May 3 for a status update hearing. During that hearing, DNA test results will be revealed and Green's psychological evaluation will be discussed.

December 29 incident

Pannell was found dead and bloody on the floor of the home, in the 3900 block of East Chatham in North Henrico. According to her family, she lived there with her grandson, Green.

Police said a vehicle driven by Green was spotted by Richmond Police officer.  Once Green saw the officer, he accelerated rapidly, which led to a police pursuit.

The vehicle crashed on Staples Mill Rd. near Thalbro St., where it left the roadway and struck a power pole. Green was transported to the hospital with injuries and remains there currently.

Criminal history

Court records showed Green had numerous other encounters with the law.

In 2001, he was sentenced to nine years on a malicious wounding charge. He stabbed his girlfriend in the neck with a screwdriver, according to court documents.

CBS 6 has obtained court documents from Green's conviction in that attack.

In her court testimony the victim stated:

He started to hit me in my face with his fist.  And he just kept on hitting me. And he kept on hitting me in my face until I got numb and I couldn't feel him hitting me in my face anymore.

He got the screwdriver...he poked me in my side first and he just stuck it in my neck while I was laying on the floor. He looked like he was looking for something else while the screwdriver was in my neck.

The victim said she eventually jumped out a window to escape.

That same year he was in court on charges for grand larceny and attempt to elude police.

Green also had a previous forgery charge on his record, for which he was given a two-year sentence.

In 2013, he was sentenced to seven months, with 9 years and five months suspended, for two drug charges – possession of schedule I or II and III drugs.