Shooter in 2018 Maryland newspaper massacre sentenced to five life sentences


Jarrod Ramos, suspected of killing five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S. on June 28, 2018, is seen in this Police Department booking photo of Anne Arundel provided on June 29 2018. Anne Arundel Police / Handout via REUTERS

Sept. 28 (Reuters) – A Maryland judge on Tuesday sentenced the gunman who killed five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis in 2018 to five life sentences without the possibility of parole, the office said Anne Arundel County State Attorney.

In July, a jury found 41-year-old Jarrod Ramos criminally responsible for the massacre, one of the deadliest attacks on American media.

In addition to the five life sentences, Judge Michael Wachs sentenced the shooter to life plus 345 years, the prosecutor’s office said.

Ramos pleaded guilty in October 2019 to 23 felony counts, including five counts of first degree murder, but argued he was not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder. The jury rejected his insanity defense after just a few hours of deliberation. Read more

The mass shooting took place on June 28, 2018, when Ramos entered the Gazette’s newsroom in Annapolis and killed the newspaper’s deputy editor, Rob Hiaasen, 59; journalist Wendi Winters, 65; editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61; sports journalist John McNamara, 56; and sales assistant Rebecca Smith, 34.

Ramos had fought a long legal battle with the newspaper over a column he had published about him, and his lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.

The trial had been postponed several times, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. Had the jury found Ramos was mentally ill at the time, he could have received a sentence incarcerating him in a mental health facility.

Reporting by Maria Caspani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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