Accused mass shooter’s lawyers mull plea change

Jarrod Warren Ramos

Annapolis, MD - Attorneys for a man accused of murdering five employees of an Annapolis newspaper last summer are mulling over a decision to change their client’s not guilty plea, according to published reports. The defendant, Jarrod Warren Ramos, 39 of Laurel, is being held without bond and is represented by lawyers from the Office of the Public Defender.

According to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, on Monday, March 11 Circuit Court Judge Laura Ripken ruled that prosecutors have provided more information about the charges to Ramos’ defense attorneys than the law requires.

The defense team must decide by Friday, March 15 whether to change Ramos’ not guilty plea to not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. Ramos’ attorneys were given an extension for making the decision by the court back in January.

Ramos stands accused for shooting to death Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Ann Smith and Wendi Winters at the Annapolis Capital Gazette last June 28. He was apprehended one day later and indicted on 23 counts in July. He is scheduled to stand trial in June. It is expected to take 10 days, according to court records.

The defendant bore animosity toward the newspaper following an unflattering story in 2011 about his alleged harassment of a high school acquaintance. Ramos unsuccessfully sued the Capital Gazette for defamation of character.

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess stated after Monday’s hearing that after the Friday, March 15 proceedings there will be hearings on evidence, motions and subsequently a scheduling conference to determine if the case is ready to proceed to its scheduled trial.

Contact Marty Madden at

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