In-Depth: Colin Rideout claims his mother let him take the fall
ATTICA, N.Y. (WHEC) — It was a case that drew national attention. Colin Rideout and mother, Laura Rideout — convicted in a sinister murder plot.
Colin Rideout says he’s not a killer, and in an exclusive interview with News10NBC Anchor Brett Davidsen at Attica Correctional Facility , he took aim at his mother — who, he claims let him take the fall.
Davidsen: "Do you know who killed your father?
Rideout: "I’m pretty damn sure."
Rideout acknowledged he never actually heard any of his co-defendants admit to strangling and beating his father to death or moving his body from his Penfield townhome to a wooded area 45 miles away.
"None of them ever said explicitly that they did it, but their statements strongly eluded not only to motive but what they actually did," Rideout alleged.
Colin and his Laura Rideout were ultimately convicted of murder and tampering with evidence. His brother Alex was found guilty of just the tampering charge. Laura’s boyfriend Paul Tucci, who was also charged with murder and tampering, was acquitted of all charges.
Looking back, Rideout believes he was being set up to take the fall and directs much of his anger toward his mother.
"The thing that angered me the most was her unwillingness to take any kind of responsibility," Rideout said from inside Attica Prison. "Because whenever I would talk to her, she would be, I’m so sorry this is happening. It’s like, no, this isn’t just happening. she did this."
Davidsen: "Do you think your mother betrayed you?"
Rideout: "Well, she set me up for murder."
Rideout said his only involvement was cleaning up blood at his father’s home, unaware of what had happened hours earlier. But in her appeal, Laura Rideout blamed her sons. Her attorney wrote, "This is not the plan of a reasonable intelligent adult. This is more indicative of impetuous violence by sons who thought they were helping their siblings escape an abusive father followed by a slapdash attempt to cover up their crime."
"That I found very insulting," Rideout responded. "Ask anyone who knows me, I’m not an impetuous person. I don’t do things impulsively or on a whim. But that murder was premeditated. It was deliberate. It was calculated."
Prosecutors agree — it was pre-meditated. And they point to store surveillance videos in the days and hours before Craig Rideout’s death as proof. In one, Colin Rideout, his mother and sister are at the Macedon Walmart where Colin checks out with two bottles of drain cleaner. His sister was never implicated in the crimes. Rideout claims his mother told him the drain cleaner was needed to clear a clogged sink at their house.
Davidsen: "In retrospect, do you believe the plan was in motion?"
Rideout: "Yeah. I can’t think of any way that it’s not already in her mind."
Video from the Hudson Avenue Walmart the next night shows Laura Rideout and Paul Tucci buying a tarp, bungee cords and more drain cleaner, products prosecutors say were identical to those used in the disposal and disfiguring of Craig Rideout’s body. Again, Tucci was acquitted.
A few hours after that a car pulls up at the Macedon Walmart where Colin gets out and buys a shovel and work gloves. The shovel is eventually recovered not far from Craig Rideout’s body…which Colin Rideout believes may have been left there intentionally…knowing it would point to him.
"And that’s one of those things, you look at it and it just can’t be an accident. It doesn’t seem coincidental to me," he said.
But at trial, prosecutors argued that the evidence showed Colin Rideout was central to the planning and execution of the plot to kill his father. Along with the videos of him buying the items at Walmart, Rideout is caught with his brother, Alex, disposing of bloody clothes… including his own clothes.
But if he had an alibi, he never let the jury know it.
Rideout: "The pieces of the puzzle were just kind of thrown on the table and they didn’t know which pieces were missing. They didn’t know if — it was just a jumble of evidence that was presented to them."
Davidsen: "You could have cleared it up by testifying."
Rideout: "I wanted to testify."
Davidsen: "Why didn’t you?"
Rideout: "My lawyer told me I wasn’t testifying."
Legal experts say it is a defendant’s right to testify if he or she chooses to. We did speak with Colin Rideout’s attorney, Matt Parrinello. He says he did recommend to Rideout that it was in his best interest not to take the stand.
Click here to watch the first part of the interview.