Stenson Killer Gets Life In Prison

Reginald Riddle, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of former Thunder outfielder Dernell Stenson, was sentenced to life in prison.

Riddle and David Griffith, who was sentenced to a similar fate last month, kidnapped Stenson after leaving an Arizona nightclub and attempted to steal his SUV.

Stenson was an Eastern League All-Star for the Thunder in 1998, hitting .257 with 24 home runs and 71 RBI.  He was eventually claimed on waivers by the Cincinnati Reds in 2003, and made his Major League debut later that season.

It was following that year, when he was playing in the Arizona Fall League, when he was shot and killed.  The AFL has since created the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award as a way to remember him.

“He was a fine citizen,” then Trenton Thunder General Manager Rick Brenner told me in 2003.

“It was quite a shock to all of us (to learn of his death).  Dernell was very easy to work with, he always took time for the fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dernell’s family.”

Stenson’s senseless death occured the day before the Trenton Baseball Hall of Fame dinner, and a moment of silence was observed in his memory.

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