Maryland newspaper killings: Man sentenced to five life terms without parole

A man who killed five people at a newspaper in Maryland has been sentenced to five life terms, without the possibility of parole.

Jarrod Ramos was previously found criminally responsible for killing Wendi Winters, John McNamera, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen and Rebecca Smith with a shotgun at the Capital Gazette’s office in June 2018.

Ramos had pleaded guilty, but not criminally responsible to all 23 counts against him in 2019, using Maryland‘s version of an insanity defence.

The case had been delayed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before announcing the sentence, Anne Arundel County Judge Michael Wachs said Ramos showed no remorse for the crimes – and had even told a state psychiatrist he would kill more if ever released.

“The impact of this case is just simply immense,” Wachs said.

“To say that the defendant exhibited a callous and complete disregard for the sanctity of human life is simply a huge understatement.”

Ramos, who wore a black mask inside the courtroom, declined to comment.

The assault was one of the worst attacks on journalists in US history and it took a jury less than two hours to reject arguments from Ramos’s attorneys that he did not understand the criminality of his actions.

Prosecutors allege the 41-year-old acted out of revenge after the newspaper published a story about his guilty plea to a misdemeanour charge of harassing a former high school classmate in 2011.

Montana Winters Geimer, daughter of shooting victim Wendi Winters, previously testified how her mother “woke up one morning, went to work and never came back”.

“The day she died was the worst day of my life,” Ms Geimer told Judge Wachs.

“The hours spent not knowing if she was alive or dead have lived in my nightmares ever since.”

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