Gavon Ramsey was seventeen years old when he murdered an elderly woman. According to court documents Gavon Ramsey broke into the home of the ninety eight year old woman who he would strangle and hide her body in a closet covered in clothing. Police would find the woman’s pocketbook in Gavon’s bedroom and would find a photo of the victim on his phone.
This teen killer would plead guilty to multiple charges and would be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison
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Admission Date 01/18/2019
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A local teenager was sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole for the brutal murder of an 98-year-old Wadsworth woman.
Gavon Ramsay, 17, was charged with aggravated murder, two counts of murder, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of kidnapping and one count of gross abuse of a corpse in connection for the April 2018 murder of Margaret Douglas.
Douglas was discovered in a closet of her Wadsworth home after she had been reported missing. Investigators determined she had been strangled, her body concealed in a pile of clothing.
During sentencing, Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce Kimbler ruled the teen was corrupt beyond redemption and unfit to reenter society.
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Seventeen-year-old Gavon Ramsay sneaked into his 98-year-old neighbor’s house through an unlocked door and took video of her sleeping on a couch.
Wearing plastic gloves, the Wadsworth teen strangled Margaret Douglas until she took her last breath and then spent two hours taking more videos and photographs of her corpse, including several of a sexual nature.
Ramsay then stuffed her body in a small closet, covered her with clothes and a vacuum cleaner and returned to his home five doors down before his parents awoke at 5 a.m.
These were among the brutal details of Douglas’ April 6 death that Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce Kimbler pointed to Thursday when she sentenced Ramsay to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Because of his age, this was the maximum possible sentence.
Kimbler said she found Ramsay to be “irreparably corrupt” and “unfit to re-enter society.”
“This crime was depraved and premeditated and of a nature not previously seen in this community,” the judge said.
Gavon Ramsay showed little emotion when Kimbler announced her decision after a long and emotional court hearing that included testimony from the teen’s parents — who blame his actions on misprescribed medication. Stephen Ramsay, his father, wiped tears from his eyes in the back of the courtroom.
Ramsay plans to appeal.
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Gavon Ramsay, the 17-year-old male who broke into the Wadsworth home of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas, strangled her to death, and then assaulted her body while photographing it will serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
This determination came after a several-hours long court hearing Jan. 3 in front of Common Pleas Judge Joyce Kimbler, which included testimony from a forensic psychologist, corrections officials, Ramsay’s parents and victims’ statements from two of Douglas’ relatives.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a judge can only sentence a juvenile to life without the chance of parole if certain standards are met and taken into consideration. The juvenile suspect must be convicted or be found guilty of murder and has to be considered “irreparably corrupt, beyond redemption and thus unfit ever to re-enter society,” said Kimbler, citing a 2014 California Supreme Court ruling.
“The court finds this was not a crime of passion, but was depraved and premeditated,” she said. “The crime was of a nature not previously seen in this community.”
Juveniles cannot be sentenced to the death penalty, according to a previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Douglas’ body was found in a small hallway closet under clothes and other items by relatives April 9, 2018 after being reported missing; it is believed she was killed early the morning of April 6.
Ramsay reportedly was in Douglas’ home between 2 and 4 a.m. and during that time strangled her, took photos and videos of the body in different positions and hid the body, records show. County Prosecutor Forrest Thompson said multiple times throughout the hearing Ramsay only left the home because he knew his parents would soon be waking up for work. Douglas was asleep on her couch when Ramsay attacked her; he reportedly took photos of her sleeping beforehand.
Photographs and videos of Douglas’ body were found on Ramsay’s cellphone and her wallet was found in Ramsay’s bedroom by police, both of which Thompson said were “trophies” similar to those collected by serial killers.
The photos reportedly showed Douglas’ body in a state of undress and in some of them, Ramsay is shown sexually assaulting the body, records show.
Police also found notebooks by Ramsay expressing his desire to kill people and facts about serial killers he had researched. Officers also found a glove belonging to Ramsay at Douglas’ residence; without this, Thompson said he may have gotten away with the murder and killed others.
Cindy and Patricia Leasure, Douglas’ niece and great-niece, spoke during the hearing. Cindy Leasure said Douglas was in relatively good health, allowing her to live independently, and looked forward to celebrating her 100th birthday. She and her husband, who took Douglas to the store and ran errands for her, reportedly found her body.
Patricia Leasure said she thought Ramsay picked Douglas due to her age and vulnerability and wanted to use her as as a “practice run” for other murders.
“I have no doubt he would have continued killing,” she said.
Ramsay lived five houses away from Douglas, close enough for him to go to the residence on foot and back in the middle of the night, said Thompson.
Ramsay previously pleaded no contest to nine counts in November, including four counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary and one count of gross abuse of a corpse. He was charged as an adult after being bound over from juvenile court; he changed his plea just before his trial was set to begin.
Forensic psychologist Luna Jones of the Akron Psycho-diagnostic Clinic testified she conducted a psychological examination of Ramsay in November and determined he suffered from conduct disorder, where a patient violates rules and engages in destructive and violent behavior, in addition to a sexual disorder where he is aroused by the suffering of others without their consent. For both of these conditions, she said recidivism rates are very high and requires intensive therapy to treat.
She also said Ramsay suffered from depression and ADHD, along with alcohol and marijuana dependency; he reportedly said before the murder he drank up to a fifth of vodka per day and either stole the liquor or took money from his parents to buy it.
Jones said Ramsay told her he didn’t think too much about the murder but said he was remorseful.
Ramsay also briefly spoke during the hearing, saying he could wish he could take what he did back.
“I wish I had the words to express how sorry I am,” he said.
The defense argued during the hearing Ramsay killed Douglas due to the increased anger he experienced after being given a prescription for the anti-depressant Zoloft a few months before the murder. In some patients, the drug can make a patient have violent tendencies, especially if one is given a high dosage (100 mg.) like Ramsay was, said county Public Defender Jocelyn Stefancin.
This point was made by Ramsay’s mother Christine Ramsay during her testimony; she said she had no idea about these potential side effects when she gave her son the drug and only learned about it after his arrest. She also said her son had been sexually abused by an older boy at around age 7 or 8, which caused him to go to counseling for the first time. He had gone to sessions off and on until the day of his arrest by Wadsworth Police.
Thompson said Ramsay’s crime was planned in advance and that he had been on a path of criminal activity for several years. At the time of his arrest, Ramsay was a suspect in a carjacking; he had reportedly met a man on a dating app and then took his car. Ramsay had also robbed other men he had met through the app.
When he was younger, Ramsay had been suspended from school for bringing an Airsoft gun to school and for climbing onto the roof and breaking into Central Intermediate School in Wadsworth. Records show Ramsay had also spray-painted graffiti in a city park
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