ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A jury has been selected in the case against Jarrod Ramos. He’s the man who committed a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis almost three years ago.
Friday, the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County swore in 12 jurors for the trial which is set to start Tuesday at 9 a.m. The jury pool shrank from about 300 people to a dozen-plus alternates.READ MORE: Second Day Of Jury Selection In Capital Gazette Mass Shooting Case Concludes With At Least 70 Qualified Jurors
Law professor Doug Colbert said the jurors understand the weight of the task at hand.
“They want to get to the verdict that reflects the evidence they heard during the trial,” says Professor Colbert. “Jurors take their responsibilities very seriously. So they are going to listen to all the evidence, they are going to weigh the arguments of the prosecution and defense. But jurors take on an aura when they are asked to judge another person and I have the greatest faith in the jury system.”
The defendant has already pleaded guilty to killing Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiassen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters at the Capital Gazette in 2018.
Once the trial starts Tuesday jurors will have to determine if he’s criminally responsible, that’s Maryland’s version of an insanity case.
“We are going to learn a great deal about the psychology that goes into an action,” says Professor Colbert. “And so we are going to be listening to defense lawyers who are going to explain that Mr. Ramos truly was suffering from a mental infirmity and we are going to hear a prosecution, government witnesses, are going to make it as clear as they can that this was a deliberate intentional act.”READ MORE: Jury Selection Begins In Capital Gazette Mass Shooting Case
The Honorable Michael Wachs will serve as presiding judge over the case. The judge explained the standard the jurors will use to determine the outcome of Mr. Ramos’ case, which is a preponderance of the evidence.
Once the jury was selected, they were given instructions before the weekend recess. Judge Wachs explained that they are not permitted to do any research on the case or anyone associated with it. The judge said research includes no social media inquires or even speaking with family or friends about the case. The judge also informed the jurors that reviewing news content about the case is not allowed during the trial.
Judge Wachs explained that evidence will be revealed in bits and pieces over the course of the two week trial, so jurors should refrain from forming an opinion before all the details have been presented.
The jury will be sworn in Tuesday morning at the start of the trial. A foreperson will also be appointed at that time.
Monday marks the three year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette. A memorial will be unveiled on that day to honor the five victims. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said the memorial will be called the Guardians of the First Amendment Memorial. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on the anniversary of the shooting.MORE NEWS: Capital Gazette Shooter Defense Attorneys Request Closed Hearing For 'Sensational' Coverage