Watch CBS News

Capital Gazette Shooter Trial: Prosecutors Paint Jarrod Ramos As Narcissist, Defense Says He Lost Control After His Cat Died

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- The prosecution in the Capital Gazette shooting trial got their chance to attempt to prove their case on day 7 of testimony.

In opening statements, Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said the defendant has narcissistic personality disorder and started plotting his revenge when he lost a court case.

Leitess told jurors that Jarrod Ramos initially wanted to attack the court of appeals building, but changed his mind because he knew the building would have police officers.

The prosecution said the defendant later chose the building that housed the Capital Gazette's newsroom because it was a "soft target."

Before the defense rested its case, attorneys presented their final expert witness, Dr. Dorothy Lewis.

Lewis is a renowned psychiatrist with about a half-century of experience. She said the defendant's cat was his only significant relationship.

"I think it was that relationship that tied him a little bit to reality," said Dr. Lewis who diagnosed the defendant with autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and delusional disorder.

Dr. Lewis said he called the cat his "fur wife."

When the cat died from cancer, the defendant followed through with his attack on the Capital Gazette. The shooting happened just weeks after the cat's death.

Lewis said during questioning Thursday that Ramos has paranoid delusions, and that he believed the Gazette, a reporter and the judicial system were against him.

He had a long-running grievance with the paper after they wrote an article about him. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were killed in the attack.

The defense argued that Jarrod Ramos is not criminally responsible -- Maryland's version of an insanity case.
Defense attorney Catherine Flynn represented a client in an insanity case years ago. She is not affiliated with this criminal case but offered some analysis on the process.

"The defense in this situation has the burden of proof, so they have to establish that he is not criminally responsible at the time of the crime. The only way they can do that is with an expert witness," said Flynn. "They have to have somebody who has properly diagnosed him and can render an opinion for a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that he was not criminally responsible at the time."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.