Capital Gazette Murder Trial

Chris Gordon reports on the opening testimony in the trial of Jerrod Ramos, who confessed to murdering five people at The Capital Gazette newspaper in 2018, as a jury prepares to decide if he is "Not Criminally Responsible" — Maryland's version of the insanity defense.

Show Notes

Confessed mass murderer Jarrod Ramos had a long-running feud with The Capital Gazette. Ramos thought an article about him made him look “crazy” so he demanded a retraction and apology.

When he didn’t get either, he sued the newspaper and the reporter for defamation. A judge dismissed his case and when Ramos exhausted his appeals, he withdrew from the world — living like a hermit. He stayed at home with his dying cat as his only companion, planning his revenge against The Capital Gazette for two years. When he finally took her to be euthanized, he was ready to launch his plan to kill as many people as he could at the newspaper. 

In this episode, you’ll hear about Ramos from his younger sister, who has testified in the trial. Police witnesses talk about his reaction when he was apprehended and questioned. Ramos pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting deaths of 5 people on June 28, 2018, but his lawyers are asking the jury in this trial to find him “Not Criminally Responsible.” 

You’ll find out what the law requires for this insanity defense to succeed. You can begin to decide for yourself if Ramos suffers from mental disorders or just wants to appear that way.

What is Capital Gazette Murder Trial?

In late June 2018, five people were murdered by an active shooter walking through their offices at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Prosecutors say he blocked the exit so the victims couldn’t escape.

The defendant, Jarrod Ramos, pleaded guilty to the murders but his lawyers now argue he’s not “criminally responsible” — Maryland’s version of the Insanity Defense. Prosecutors contend that his attack was planned in a “calculating and methodical” manner because the paper wrote unfavorable articles about him.

Former TV reporter and lawyer Chris Gordon covered the crime. Now, he’s covering the trial in this exclusive podcast from Voxtopica and Chris Gordon News. Listen as he explains the impact of the testimony and evidence inside the courtroom, bringing his unique perspective to the trial.