Jarrod Ramos sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole

Jarrod Ramos sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole

The man who plead guilty to killing five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis has been sentenced to five counts of life in prison without the possibility of parole, life in prison, 125 years in prison and 220 years in prison, all of them to run consecutively.

The sentencing hearing ended after 12 survivors, victims and family members addressed the court with victim impact testimony.

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said, “He was not sorry, not remorseful. It was the only option he had. He felt he was justified. It was premeditated murder. He admitted that he failed in only killing five people, not the 11 in the newsroom.”

The judge in the case said, “The impact of this case is just immense. To my shock, he stated planning this attack were the best years of his life.”

In October of 2019, Jarrod Ramos plead guilty to killing Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. He also attempted, but failed, to kill an additional six people. The second phase of his trial was delayed multiple times, most recently because of the pandemic. That part of his trial finally began this past July and was largely a battle between mental health experts called by defense attorneys and prosecutors.

The prosecution repeatedly pointed to shortcomings in the mental health evaluations done by the defense, which relied mostly on interviews with Ramos and his sister.

He was found criminally responsible for his actions despite his attorney’s assertion that he was insane during that mass shooting on June 28th, 2018.

The jury took only two hours after 12 days of testimony to deliver that verdict, ruling that Ramos understood the illegality of his actions. That means he will be sentenced to prison, not a maximum-security mental health facility.

Maryland law dictates some sort of life sentence for first-degree murder. Prosecutors sought five life sentences without the possibility of parole.

This story will be updated.