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Court time to weigh the insanity plea in the newspaper attack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The man accused of the murder of five people at a Maryland newspaper office will get more time for his lawyer to consider filing a plea of not criminally responsible ground of insanity, a judge ruled Monday.

Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Laura Kiessling said that she found good cause to give Jarrod Ramos’ lawyer until Oct. 24 to consider entering a plea of not criminally responsible. William Davis, a public prosecutor, asked for more time last week to consider hundreds of pages of documents, review other material in the case and have meetings with his client. Ramos pleaded not guilty July 30.

After a meeting with the lawyers, Kiessling scheduled a trial for Jan. 15. During a court hearing then, Kiessling estimate the trial may last 10 days. She has also scheduled hearings for Dec. 18 and 19 to discuss the evidence admitted.

Ramos sat quietly in the courtroom. He had long hair and a beard and he wore glasses during the procedure. Authorities led him away in leg irons after the short hearing.

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams noted there is some uncertainty that remains due to a potential means of change.

“Obviously we have to see everything that is submitted. We will respond, based on what the evaluations of the provide to us and our own evaluations as the evidence dictates,” Adams told reporters, when asked how he would respond to a plea of not criminally responsible.

The judge granted a defense request for prosecutors to turn over more information in the case, including witnesses ‘ phone numbers and addresses.

“We have agreed to give over the information, so that the lawyer and the defense attorneys only to prepare for this specific case,” Adams said.

The officer of justice, who are seeking a life sentence without the possibility of parole was also seen on officers’ body-worn camera footage, 911 calls, EMT reports and grand jury testimony, Adams said.

Ramos faces 23 charges. The 38-year-old is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the death of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Ann Smith and Wendi Winters in the June 28 attack on the editorial office, where the police ” he says with a shotgun blast his way inside. He has also been charged with attempted murder, assault and gun crimes.

Prosecutors say that Ramos carefully planned attack and barricaded the rear exit of the office to prevent people to escape.

Ramos, of Laurel, Maryland, had an old grudge against the newspaper. The Capital had written about Ramos plead guilty to harassment of a former high school classmate in 2011, and Ramos unsuccessfully sued the writer and the newspaper’s publisher for defamation.

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