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Ohio man sentenced to five years for threatening OU student-athletes

An Ohio man who threatened the lives of at least two female OU student-athletes has been sentenced to five years in state prison and a year in the Cleveland County jail.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: July 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm •  Published: July 2, 2013
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An Ohio man who threatened the lives of at least two former University of Oklahoma student-athletes has been sentenced to five years in state prison and a year in Cleveland County jail.

Naasik Ferdous, who briefly attended OU before he was expelled in January 2011 after he was accused of stalking female athletes and lying on his application, has been jailed in Norman since his arrest in the fall.

In October, Ferdous, 22, was arrested by OU Police Department detectives after he drove to Norman with the intent of killing Kelsey Devonshire, who was the women's soccer team goalie at the time.

Ferdous was sentenced Monday by a judge in Cleveland County. He had pleaded no contest in May.

Court records show Ferdous called OU police Oct. 16 and told them he was driving from the Overland Park, Kan., area, with purpose of killing Devonshire, whom he blamed for his expulsion from OU. The previous day, he had taken his mother's car and credit cards and driven to Kansas from his home in Ohio.

While in Kansas, Ferdous had left a letter at the family home of former OU gymnast Natalie Ratcliff. The letter contained threats against Devonshire.

Ferdous, who never explained why he dropped the letter off at Ratcliff's family home, was arrested Oct. 17 after he had breakfast at the OU student union and notified police that he was in town, records show.

During interviews with state Corrections Department investigators, Ferdous said the decision to drive to Norman from Ohio — a 900-mile trip — was triggered by his poor performance on exams at the University of Cincinnati.

“Back in October of 2012, I wanted to attend OU's medical school and needed to have a good GPA,” Ferdous wrote in a statement to investigators. “However, the week prior to getting arrested, I did poorly on my physics and organic chemistry exams.

“I got upset and felt my reason for no longer being an undergraduate OU student was (Devonshire's) fault.”

Devonshire filed an emergency protective order against Ferdous the day before he arrived on the OU campus, describing the stalking behavior she and other teammates had dealt with since at least last year.

Another former OU student-athlete, gymnast Sara Stone, filed a protective order on the same day for similar reasons.

In the protective order, Devonshire wrote that Ferdous began stalking her after he'd done the same to other players on the team.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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