Not-guilty plea in Capital Gazette murders

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The man who was charged with killing five people last month in the Capital Gazette newsroom has pleaded not guilty.

Jarrod Ramos was not in the courtroom on Monday, but his public defender, William Davis, entered the plea for him.

Circuit Court Judge William Mulford said the public defender for Jarrod Ramos, William Davis, had entered his appearance, and filed motions for discovery and a speedy trial. That means Ramos, 38, did not need to appear.

Ramos remains held without bond. His next court appearance — a status hearing before Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Laura Kiessling — in August, will focus on scheduling matters.

“Normally, in an initial appearance a judge will advise the defendant of his right to counsel, of each and every one of the charges, and the maximum penalty faced,” said Wes Adams, Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney, after the brief hearing.

Davis’ appearance “eliminates the need for the judge to have that hearing, because now counsel’s responsibility is to advise his client of each of the charges, and each of the maximum penalties.”

Ramos was indicted on a total of 23 counts, including five counts of murder, in the June 28 deaths of Rob Hiassen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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