Titus, Ryan ‘Natural Born Killers’ Impersonation Results in Long Jail Sentence

Guilty Pleas in 2005 Brutal Slaying

By Joe Pietaro, MuscleSport Mag
You get what you deserve. Bodybuilder Craig Titus and his spouse, fitness pro Kelly Ryan both accepted guilty pleas in a Las Vegas courtroom of a crime that rivaled the slayings in the popular motion picture, “Natural Born Killers.” Titus’ sentence of 21 to 55 years and Ryan’s of six to 26 years are hardly enough in a crime that shocked more than the sports world.

Titus’ lawyer, Marc Saggese, supplied some extra drama when he claimed that his client was “assured before pleading guilty on May 30 that he would have a chance at parole after 15 to 17 years.” When you stand up and admit to second-degree murder, kidnapping and arson charges, learn how to take your medicine.

Ryan pled guilty to arson and entered the Las Vegas equivalent of no contest to battery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Initially the defendants claimed that they found Melissa James, their live-in assistant, dead of an apparent drug overdose in their home. They further said that they panicked and disposed of the body themselves.

Prior to the sentencing, Titus’ statement through his attorney was that he arrived home to find James fighting and using a stun gun on his wife. He then admitted to beating her and body-slamming her several times. Then James was heard ransacking her room and was later found dead.

James head was wrapped in duct tape and her body was burned in the trunk of an automobile owned by Ryan. Prosecutors were unable to prove if she was alive or dead when put in the vehicle.

Addressing the court, Titus claimed that he was “ashamed” and “sickened” of his actions “after Melissa passed away.” He also leaned on the excuse that he “wasn’t thinking straight” because of his drug abuse. This is a person that was previously arrested for selling Ecstasy in 1995 and ended up serving time after violating probation when he tested positive for steroids. Other drugs that either Titus or Ryan are said to have used were OxyContin, morphine, methamphetamine and Nalbuphine.

Of course, the ever-popular ‘roid rage’ reared its ugly head in pretrial documents when prosecutors raised the issue.

There aren’t many crimes this involved and sound like a Hollywood script. For two people to commit such heinous acts and then expect the court to believe their story and take pity on them was preposterous. If anything, their sentences were too light.

Photo credit: Vegas Blog