Liberia: Criminal Court Denies U.S. Citizen from Seeking Medical Care Abroad

Lucas Richard appears in court in Monrovia

By Abednego Davis

A U.S. citizen, Lucas Richards, on trial for attempting to murder his wife, Jessica Lloyd, was on Wednesday, February 28, denied permission by Criminal Court ‘B’ to travel abroad for medical care. The victim, Jessica Lloyd, survived the attack and is actively involved in the prosecution against her husband.

Although Richards’ lawyers requested permission for a medical checkup in his home country due to his alleged “devastating condition”, Judge Nelson Chinneh modified his bail conditions to prevent him from leaving Liberia while the trial was ongoing.

“Richards, who has been bailed, will not be allowed to leave Liberia, while his trial is ongoing,” the judge said before adjourning the case to a later date.

The government opposed the request from the legal team of Richards, a U.S. Christian missionary, citing concerns about his potential non-return to Liberia if granted permission, as there is no extradition treaty between Liberia and the United States of America. 

The indictment against Richards alleged that he attacked and injured Lloyd in Dixville, Caldwell, on September 14. After Richards’ arrest, Creekside Church, his church in the U.S., learned about the situation and expressed support for the victim while maintaining his innocence. They clarified that Richards was not a member of their church, but had his own church in Liberia.

Amid conflicting eyewitness accounts, the church expressed trust in the Liberian legal system to uncover the truth and ensure justice. Following confirmation of an extramarital relationship between Richards and Lloyd, the church stated that he was no longer eligible for their support. They emphasized the importance of seeking truth and justice through collaboration with authorities in both countries.

“The information we received from his wife, who was serving with him in Liberia, was that Lucas was attacked and robbed, so we posted a prayer request for our congregation. News later broke that Lucas had been incarcerated and accused of the attempted murder and aggravated assault of a Liberian girl, Jessica Lloyd. He maintains his innocence,” the church further said.

According to them, Lucas is not a member of Creekside, but of a church in Liberia which he founded, consisting of its own board of elders and accountability structure. 

“Our social media post calling for prayer made it seem to the Liberian community that we are insensitive to the victim and appearing to defend the accused, and by extension dismiss his charges,” the church noted. “This was not the case. Prayer is our first priority when confronted with a situation such as this. The church is sensitive to Jessica, who also accuses Lucas Richard of perpetrating the act. For her sake and in light of our relationship with the Richards, it is always our obligation to seek the truth, a task made more difficult considering that the eyewitness accounts are radically different.”

According to the church, “We trust the legal system in Liberia to find the truth and render justice regarding the allegations.” 

Sadly, "we have confirmed today through an eyewitness from Liberia that Lucas had in fact entered into a marriage with Jessica, which neither we nor Lois had any prior knowledge of. While there are many points of allegations we cannot confirm, since the extramarital relationship has been verified, this alone makes Lucas ineligible to represent our church or receive our support.

“We are continuing to work with the State Department, contacts in Liberia, and others to seek both truth and justice. Please continue to join us in prayer for all involved,” the Creekside Church statement added.