ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The gunman found criminally responsible for the mass shooting attack against the Capital Gazette will be sentenced on Sept. 28.
On Wednesday, the lead prosecutor on the case sat down with WJZ reporter Ava-joye Burnett for an extended interview.READ MORE: Jury Finds Capital Gazette Shooter Criminally Responsible For 2018 Mass Shooting
Anne Arundel County’s State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette was the worst murder case she’s ever prosecuted.
“I also think that I’m working for the people who passed away,” said Colt Leitess. “I feel like I’m representing the victims who can’t speak for themselves.”
During the 12 day trial that concluded last week, State’s Attorney Colt Leitess used an FBI-built model of the Capital Gazette newsroom to help make her case that the defendant was criminally responsible for his actions.
Defense attorneys said Jarrod Ramos was mentally ill, suffered from autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and delusional disorder but State’s Attorney Colt Leitess said that wasn’t the case.
The prosecutor argued that the defendant methodically planned and hunted down victims because of a long-running grievance with the paper.
“It was very clear for me for a long time that this case was not about criminal responsibility, it was about him seeking revenge to make himself feel better,” said Colt Leitess.READ MORE: Prosecution's Final Witness Reveals Disturbing & Graphic Details On Day 10 Of Capital Gazette Shooting Trial
“What was your personal fear if the jury found that it was OK for him to go to a state hospital instead of a maximum-security facility?” asked Ava-joye Burnett.
“Imagine the dilemma if the doctors in the State of Maryland said there is nothing wrong with him, there’s nothing seriously wrong with him, if he was then committed to the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, he could’ve conceivably been released from jail,” Colt Leitess responded.
The defendant previously pleaded guilty to 23 counts related to the shooting. The state’s attorney said the defendant could receive five life sentences for each of the five victims. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were killed during the attack.
“He’s facing never getting out of prison ever,” Colt Leitess added. “It makes me feel good, I think that the community needs to be protected from the defendant. ”
The jury unanimously found that the defendant is criminally responsible.
WJZ contacted the defendant’s attorneys to speak about this case but has not received a response.MORE NEWS: Prosecution Introduces Medical Expert That Diagnoses Capital Gazette Shooter With Schizotypal & Narcissistic Personality Disorder
We will update this story if there is a response from the defense team.