Jury finds gunman criminally responsible for killing 5 in Maryland newspaper shooting

Jury finds gunman criminally responsible for killing 5 in Maryland newspaper shooting
© Getty Images

A jury in Maryland has found a gunman criminally responsible for killing five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., in 2018, rejecting defense attorneys' arguments that he was too mentally ill to be culpable in the attack.

The jury ruled that Jarrod Ramos, 41, was sane on June 28, 2018, when he shot his way through the small newsroom, killing four journalists and a sales assistant, according to the Capital Gazette.

Defense attorneys argued Ramos was too mentally ill and therefore was not responsible or capable of fully grasping his actions. He had pleaded guilty to 23 counts in the case but had pleaded not criminally responsible, Maryland's version of an insanity plea.

ADVERTISEMENT

Prosecutors argued during a nearly three-week trial that Ramos’s actions were methodical and preplanned, saying he killed because he wanted revenge on the newspaper after it published an article in 2011 about Ramos's harassment conviction involving a former classmate. That case was dismissed and multiple legal appeals over several years failed.

If Ramos had been found not criminally responsible, he would have been sent to a maximum-security mental health facility. Instead, prosecutors are seeking a minimum of five life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole.

The shooting killed Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. Six people survived the attack, which has been deemed the deadliest attack on a newsroom in the U.S.