Annapolis, MD ( Arundel.News & AAFA) - The case against the man accused of shooting seven staff members at the Capital Gazette Newspaper, is set to begin nearly three years to the day after the mass shooting. The Maryland States Attorney will try the case against Jarrod Ramos, for killing five members of the newspaper's staff with a shotgun on June 28, 2018. Two more employees were shot as they tried to flee the newsroom.
Ramos told investigators that he was angry at the paper's staff over coverage of his personal court proceedings in a peace order case the paper reported on in 2011. Ramos then filed an unsuccessful defamation against Capital Gazette Communications in 2012. Reports by former staffers about Ramos' unhinged behavior and threats towards them were reported to the Anne Arundel County Police, but no charges or new protective orders were ever issued.
Juror selection will begin on June 23rd, and the state plans to begin presenting their case in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, before the Honorable Judge Michael Wachs once that process is complete.
The Court is imposing special guidelines for media coverage of the case. Arundel.News has secured press credentials to provide updates on the Ramos trial, but according to a release from Maryland Judiciary:
"At the discretion of the Court and to maintain compliance with Administrative Orders put in place by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, limited seating will be available in the gallery of Courtroom 4C. The Court has put in place a plan allowing four seats to be designated for members of the media. One seat will alternate between a representative from the Capital Gazette and the Baltimore Sun, daily. One seat will be designated for the sketch artist from the Baltimore Sun. The two remaining seats will rotate daily with other media present allowing for an impartial rotation for the duration of the trial. The use of electronic devices is prohibited in the courtroom.
The “Historic Courtroom,” will be the designated media room which will provide a workspace for media representatives to work, view, and listen to the trial on a live closed-circuit, audio-video feed."
Arundel.News and AAFA will update the case as it proceeds.
The staff who were killed on June 28, 2018 are:
- Rob Hiaasen, age 59, assistant editor and weekend columnist for The Capital.
- John McNamara, age 56, sports reporter for The Capital and editor and primary reporter for The Bowie Blade-News
- Rebecca Smith, age 34, sales assistant who just started working for Capital Gazette Communications
- Wendi Winters, age 65, community beat reporter and special publication editor for The Capital