For release on August 13, 2013

David Boyd, Deputy District Attorney
Homicide Unit
(408) 792-2968


After a five-week jury trial, Andrew Rachal was convicted today of the first-degree murder of his friend. Rachal stabbed Ricky Patterson with a kitchen knife more than 30 times in the arms, legs and head in early 2011. After the stabbing, Rachal assured his neighbors that nothing was amiss, and fled the scene. Rachal was next seen in Southern California when he leapt off of a highway overpass into oncoming traffic. Passers by, including an off duty EMT, provided aid to Rachal not knowing he was wanted for the attack in San Jose.

Rachal, 44, who suffered fractured ankles and a broken pelvis in his suicide attempt, will receive 26-years-to-life for the murder when he is sentenced on October 18, 2013, before the Hon. Andrea Bryan.

"The killing of Ricky Patterson may not make the evening news, but it is an attack on the social fabric that binds us together and will be vigorously prosecuted in Santa Clara County just like any other case," Deputy District Attorney David Boyd stated.

On May 10, 2011, Rachal attacked Patterson in Rachal's home on Kyra Circle in San Jose. A witness said he heard calls for help and saw Rachal and Patterson in the kitchen through a window and large amounts of blood. Rachal assured the witness that everything was "alright." Fleeing the scene, Rachal was described by his next door neighbor as if he had dipped his arms in “red paint." As Rachal was leaving the scene, he again said that Patterson was "alright.” Mortally wounded, Patterson managed to drag himself from the kitchen to the driveway through the garage where he was found by responding emergency personnel. Patterson was taken to Regional Medical Center. He died two days later.

After the attack, Rachal drove his pickup truck to southern California where he was ultimately spotted the next day in Carpinteria in southern Santa Barbara County. There, he jumped off of a highway overpass and landed on his feet on Highway 101. While waiting for emergency personnel Rachal, for the first time, claimed that Patterson "had a knife, he came at me." The jury rejected this claim of self-defense. 


©2024 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.