Maryland newspaper gunman who killed 5 to be sentenced

A man who killed five people at a Maryland newspaper more than three years ago is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday for one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in U.S. history.

Prosecutors are seeking five life terms in prison without the possibility of parole for Jarrod Ramos, who committed the homicides with a shotgun at the Capital Gazette in June 2018. Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Michael Wachs will decide the sentence.

In 2019, Ramos used Maryland’s version of an insanity defense to plead guilty but not criminally responsible to all 23 counts against him.

After a 12-day trial in July, a jury took less than two hours to reject arguments from Ramos’ attorneys that he could not understand the criminality of his actions. The jury found him criminally responsible for killing Wendi Winters, John McNamera, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen and Rebecca Smith.

Prosecutors contend Ramos, 41, acted out of revenge against the newspaper after it published a story about his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of harassing a former high school classmate in 2011. Prosecutors said his long, meticulous planning for the attack — which included preparations for his arrest and long incarceration — proved he understood the criminality of his actions.

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