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Robert James Ringer, 61

A 61-year-old black man was stabbed to death Tuesday, Aug. 18, in the 14500 block of South Harris Avenue in East Compton. The man, whom friends identified as Robert Ringer, was talking with friends after 7 p.m. at a house where he occasionally stayed and frequently performed odd jobs for an elderly woman.

“It was a typical night for us,” Darrell Ferguson, a friend of Ringer, said. “We were just laughing and horsing around. And then randomly, things got out of control.”

Darrell Ferguson said Ringer stepped outside behind the house with Ramona Annis, 53, to talk about a faulty water heater. The conversation started out calm but escalated into an argument. Then Annis drew a small blade and stabbed Ringer, Darrell Ferguson said; Ringer stepped back but Annis stepped forward and stabbed him again.

“I heard them arguing. But then I heard Robert holler out,” Stacey Ferguson, 30, said. “I opened up the back porch door and saw her stomping on his face.”

“She was yelling," he continued, "‘You’ll never disrespect me again.'"

Annis tried to leave but Stacey Ferguson’s cousin held on to the woman until Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrived. Annis was booked on suspicion of murder Wednesday and is being held on $1 million bail.

Ringer was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ferguson said he had never seen Annis and Ringer have a serious argument and was surprised by the violence.

“They used to play-argue over stuff like pens or seats, but I had no idea that she would take it that far,” Stacey Ferguson said.

Darrell Ferguson remembered Ringer as a helpful handyman who could always be counted on.

“He was just someone who you could talk to," he said. "Even when something was bothering you, you could talk about something else and feel better by the end of the conversation. He was a good person to have when you were going through stuff.

“Now though, I’m not sure what to do.”

Photo: Robert Ringer.

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