Prosecutors say a man who killed five workers of Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper in 2018 gets life imprisonment.
According to Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Tia Lewis, Jarrod Ramos faces five life terms without the possibility of parole. Ramos also get one more life sentence plus 345 years. The state’s attorney’s office said the suspect would serve all sentences consecutively.
On June 28, 2018, Ramos went into the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis and started fire, killing five employees. Ramos had two more casualties during that incident. A jury rejected Ramos’ claim of insanity on July 15 of this year, and the jury judged him criminally liable for the assault.
Judge Michael Wachs of Anne Arundel County sentenced him to at least five life terms without the possibility of parole on Tuesday.
“To say that the defendant exhibited a callous and complete disregard for the sanctity of human life is simply a huge understatement,” Wachs said during his sentencing.
Ramos Held Grudge Against Newspaper After ‘Libelous’ Article
Ramos allegedly had a vendetta against the publication, according to authorities. He filed a defamation action against the publication and a writer in 2012, according to court records. This was after a 2011 story that described his guilty plea in a harassment case. A judge dismissed that case, and an appeals court affirmed the decision in 2015.
Anne Colt Leitess, the Anne Arundel County state’s attorney and the murder case’s main prosecutor, said justice is served.
McNamara, 56, Wendi Winters, 65, Gerald Fischman, 61, Rob Hiaasen, 59, and Rebecca Smith, 34, were among those murdered.
Guilty but Not Criminally Responsible
In October 2019, Ramos pled guilty but not criminally responsible to 23 charges, including murder, setting the stage for this year’s trial, in which a jury was asked to decide on his mental state at the time of the shooting.
The trial started in late June after many delays, including Covid-19, according to the Capital Gazette. The jury reached a decision in less than two hours.
Ramos is now facing five life sentences without the possibility of parole. He had another extra life sentence for attempted murder and hefty terms for weapons crimes.
According to the American Public Health Association, gun violence in the United States is a public health emergency. It is the country’s top cause of early mortality, accounting for more than 38,000 fatalities per year. The Gun Violence Archive said at least 33,142 individuals have died as a result of gun violence this year as of Sept. 28.