Father plotted murder, daughter drove car in killing of sleeping ex-cop

Former Miami-Dade police officer served time in prison, but had been living quiet life

Michael Colon, right, is accused of a murder plot that killed Johnnie Ridgeway III, left. (WPLG)

SUNRISE, Fla. – A father and daughter were arrested in a premeditated murder plot to kill a former Miami-Dade police officer while he slept in his bed.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested Michael Colon, 46, and his 17-year-old daughter, Ashley Colon, on a charge of premeditated murder.

Colon lived in the Northwest 12th Court home where Johnnie Ridgeway III was shot and killed in early November. Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12, Sunrise police said that a woman called 911 to report that she had found her husband dead in bed. When police officers entered the residence, they discovered Ridgeway had been shot several times.

An investigation revealed that there were no signs of forced entry and that the residence was not ransacked or robbed. Investigators said Ridgeway was killed sometime between 7 a.m. and noon that day.

Sonia Ridgeway, the woman who called police to say her husband had been killed, is the aunt of Colon. According to detectives, Johnnie Ridgeway was the only one in the house at the time of the homicide.

Detectives said Ashley Colon admitted to driving the car used in the killing. Sunrise police are also searching for the man they believe shot Ridgeway.

Detectives interviewed sources who stated that Colon’s daughter visited the Ridgeway home frequently in a white vehicle. It was discovered that Ashley Colon did not own the vehicle, but had posted a photo of the car on her Facebook page of a toddler sitting on the car. Police were able to find the owner of the car who said he and Ashley Colon were previously co-workers and he had let her borrow his white Kia. The owner of the car told police he did not have any knowledge of the homicide and police said he was not in the area on the day of the murder. The vehicle’s owner told police that Ashley said she needed the car to help her father move.

Police question daughter about white Kia

According to a police report, on Nov. 24, Sunrise police detectives made contact with Ashley Colon at a store on West Sunrise Boulevard. She agreed to voluntarily go to the police department and speak with detectives about the incident. After being read her Miranda rights, she told police she wanted to talk about the homicide.

She said she had borrowed the car, then went to Homestead to pick up then to the Ridgeway house in Sunrise around 6 a.m. Ashley Colon told police she was “nervous about what was going to happen” and circled the block a couple of times. She then parked in a grass swale next to the house.

Ashley Colon said her passenger got out of the front seat of the vehicle and walked towards the residence. A few moments later, he returned to get a pair of latex gloves. He then walked back towards Ridgeway’s residence, where he gained access through an open door and shot the man as he slept in his bed. The girl told police she believed her father had left the door open for the man to enter.

Ashley stated that she heard what she believed to be three to four gunshots and became upset because she thought that only one shot would be fired.

She said when the alleged shooter ran out of the residence and got back into the white Kia Optima, she sped away.

'A strange coincidence’

Statements made by Ashley Colon corroborated video obtained from security cameras retrieved from residences on Northwest 12th Court and the surrounding area. Her statements also supported anonymous witness statements.

Ashley stated that her father called her on the day of the homicide at 7:03 a.m. inquiring about the vehicle, as well her location. She said she then called her father at 8:31 a.m., during which time he asked if the alleged shooter had killed Ridgeway. Michael Colon’s phone records showed he called the person he was associated with, the shooter, at 7:02 a.m.

Michael Colon was the last person to leave the residence. Video surveillance shows him leaving at 7:16 a.m. and Ashley Colon with a person in the front passenger seat pulling up to the house at 7:17 a.m. When Sonia Ridgeway arrived at the residence around 12:10 p.m., she discovered the front door open.

The plan to murder Ridgeway was decided by her father and the man who ended up being the shooter, who were friends, the girl told police.

Ridgeway’s mother, Patricia Ridgeway, talked to Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg after her son’s death and said that a relative who was living at the home wasn’t there at the time.

“This is a strange coincidence I cannot ignore,” she told Local 10.

According to police, based on evidence gathered from cell phones, phone records, cell site historical data, video surveillance, and corroborating statements from Ashley, Sonia, and the owner of the vehicle, it appears that Michael Colon and an accomplice planned the murder of Johnnie Ridgeway due to “bad blood” between Colon and Ridgeway.

Cop had cleaned up his life after prison

Miami-Dade police Detective Angel Rodriguez said Ridgeway worked as an officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department from 1995 until he was fired in 1999.

According to The Associated Press, Ridgeway was fired after being indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting a female driver and sexually taunting five other women while they were in custody in 1997. He was facing six counts of civil-rights violations, but five were dismissed. He served two years in prison.

His wife told the Miami Herald that he wanted to live a quiet life and had worked hard since his release in 2001.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.