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Gunman who killed 5 at Maryland newspaper gets life in prison without parole

Gunman who killed 5 at Maryland newspaper gets life in prison without parole
Jarrod Ramos previously pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of first-degree assault and 11 counts of using a firearm in a felony crime of violence. Photo courtesy Anne Arundel, Md., Police Dept/Twitter

Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A 41-year-old man who opened fire in an attack at a Maryland newspaper three years ago, killing five journalists, will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ordered Tuesday.

Jarrod Ramos took a gun to the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., in June 2018 and began indiscriminately firing at employees inside. Prosecutors said at trial that the attack was revenge for a story the paper published about him harassing a former classmate a decade ago.

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Tuesday, Ramos was sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus 345 years.

Ramos pleaded guilty in 2019 to five counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of first-degree assault and 11 counts of using a firearm in a felony crime of violence.

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Ramos' attorneys argued at trial that he should not be held criminally responsible due to mental illness. Jurors in July, however, recommended life in prison.

"To say the defendant showed a callous and cruel disregard for the sanctity of human life is simply an understatement," Judge Michael Wachs said before sentence, according to the Gazette. "What I impose is what the defendant deserves."

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Several survivors and victims' relatives spoke at the sentencing Tuesday.

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"The real victim impact is that he's gone when he deserved to be here," widow Andrea Chamblee said, according to the Baltimore Sun. "He deserved to enjoy seeing his recognition, to enjoy this time in his life, and I was so hoping to see it and experience it with him, and pay him back for all the kindnesses that he gave to me. Now I never will."

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