Capital Gazette Gunman Jarrod Ramos Sentenced To 5 Life Terms Without Parole
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Jarrod Ramos, the gunman who killed five people in a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in 2018, was sentenced Tuesday to more than five life terms in prison without the possibility of parole, one life term and an additional 345 years in prison.
"Justice has been served," said Gov. Larry Hogan. "While we hope this brings some measure of closure to the families, the pain of that horrible day will always be with us."
"Our criminal justice system worked. Thank you to all of the first responders, arresting officers, detention officers, court employees, and prosecutors in the State's Attorney's Office," said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman in a statement. "You have made our community safer and helped to restore balance to the lives of those closest to our five beloved truth-tellers - Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters."
Ramos, a Laurel, Maryland resident, pleaded guilty, but not criminally responsible to all 23 counts against him in 2019, using Maryland's version of an insanity defense. After a two-week-long trial in July, Ramos was found criminally responsible more than three years after the shootings, meaning he would spend the rest of his life in prison rather than a state hospital. A jury took less than two hours to reject Ramos' defense.
Anne Arundel County's State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess asked Judge Michael Wachs to sentence the defendant to five life sentences for each of the five victims. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were killed during the attack.
Ramos had a longstanding grudge against the newspaper for an article they published about his stalking of a former classmate.
Victim impact statements were shared at the proceedings Tuesday morning.
Selene San Felice, a reporter who was in the newsroom when the shooting happened, said "I fought to live that day and I will never stop fighting."
Summer Leigh Geimer is the youngest child of Wendi Winters, a community beat reporter who was killed in the shooting.
"The legend of Wendi Winters will live on forever," Geimer said.
Geimer said her mom always picked up the phone: "after only one unanswered phone call, I knew she was dead."
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