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Capital Gazette Shooter Back in Court, Defense Attorneys Attempt To Redact Previous Criminal References

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- The man who pleaded guilty to killing five people at The Capital Gazette almost 3 years ago was back in court Wednesday.

Jarrod Ramos admitted to his role in the 2018 mass shooting that killed Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiassen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters.

His lawyers tried to limit what parts of a doctor's report the jurors would be allowed to see in a motions hearing on Wednesday.

Defense attorneys attempted to redact the fact that Ramos acknowledged previous cases of animal cruelty and the fact that he admitted to a doctor that "There is no defense to the crime I committed."

Defense attorneys also attempted to redact Ramos' previous references to mass shootings like Columbine and Parkland. Ramos also had previous references to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Judge Michael Wachs determined these references will not be redacted.

However, there were other requests for redaction that the defense made and Judge Wachs granted them. Judge Wachs indicated his decision was a delicate balance but the jurors' right to know what Ramos said in the past ultimately outweighed any concerns of prejudice.

The next phase of the trial will determine if Ramos is criminally responsible. This is Maryland's version of an insanity case.

Jury selection starts on June 23 and the trial will begin on June 29. There were 300 people in the jury pool but Judge Wachs said 6 have already been excused. One is a college student with a full course load, another was a close friend of one of the victims, Wendi Winters, and a few others had travel plans and proof they'd already paid for it.

More than 290 potential jurors remain and they will be whittled down to just 12 and alternates.


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