Judge Accepts Plea From Man Charged With Fatal Newspaper Shootings

He pleaded guilty, but not crimnally responsible.



Annapolis, Md  (AP)  A judge has accepted a Maryland man’s guilty plea in the slayings five staffers at an Annapolis newspaper, and a jury is expected to hear testimony within weeks about whether he was not responsible by reason of insanity.

Jarrod Ramos pleaded guilty Monday in the massacre at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis in 2018. Judge Laura Ripken accepted his plea later that afternoon.

Ripken said she determined that Ramos “freely, knowingly and voluntarily” waived his right to a jury trial to determine his guilt or innocence.

The 39-year-old Ramos had originally pleaded not guilty and not criminally responsible. The latter term is Maryland’s version of an insanity defense.

Authorities say Ramos stormed the newspaper office in June 2018 with a shotgun and killed John McNamara, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman and Rob Hiaasen. It was one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in U.S. history.



By The Associated Press