Monday, November 10, 2014

Dad found guilty of manslaughter for stabbing deaths of 1- and 2-year-olddaughters, their mother (Queens, New York)

Unlike a lot of articles dealing with the conviction of a killer dad, this one openly discusses all the circumstances behind the crime.. This is far less common when the father had access to the victims through a custody/visitation arrangement.

Dad is identified as MIGUEL MEIJA-RAMOS. And why only manslaughter?

Jamaica man gets 45 years for killing wife, baby daughters

Posted: Monday, November 10, 2014 10:33 am

By Michael Gannon, Editor

Before Miguel Mejia-Ramos was sentenced last Friday for killing his wife and baby daughters, his attorney, Michael Anastasiou, asked that the court consider his client’s remorse and acceptance of his crime.

Queens Supreme Court Judge Kenneth Holder did anything but, saying no sentence could adequately punish Mejia-Ramos for killing Deisy Garcia, 21, in a jealous rage, and then stabbing his daughters to death as they slept.

Mejia-Ramos received 45 years in return for a guilty plea to three counts of first-degree manslaughter.

Speaking to the defendant through an interpreter, Holder made no effort to hide his anger. “You are a vile, despicable person,” Holder said. “It is truly difficult to find words to describe how sickened people in this courtroom are at the sight of you. .... How truly fortunate that you committed this atrocity in this state at a time when the death penalty is no longer an option for prosecutors to consider ... I am certain that the people who invented the electric chair and the gas chamber had you in mind. ... There would be a line of people tripping over each other to pull the switch.”

Mejia-Ramos stabbed Garcia, 21, and the babies the night of Jan. 18-19 in their Sutphin Boulevard apartment in Jamaica following a night of drinking with a friend.

He stabbed Garcia to death after looking through her cell phone and seeing her in a photograph with another man.

He then picked up and kissed his sleeping daughters, Daniela, 2, and Yoselin, 1, and stabbed them repeatedly.

Mejia-Ramos, a Mexican citizen, then was in flight for just over 24 hours until he was stopped by a group of U.S. marshals, Texas state troopers and local police and sheriff’s officers on Interstate 10 about halfway between Houston and San Antonio.

While Anastasiou told the court his client had accepted responsibility for the crime from the time he began representing Mejia-Ramos, law enforcement told a different story, saying he initially offered to Fayette County, Texas. sheriff’s officers varying tales as to what happened.

At first he told police he came home to discover Garcia had killed the girls, and that he killed her in self defense when she came after him with a knife. That version quickly changed to his killing Garcia in a rage after discovering that she had killed the children.

Another version had him trying unsuccessfully to kill himself by stabbing or hanging himself. He then changed to say he killed Daniela and Yoselin because he did not have child car seats to take them with him as he fled.

Fourteen members of Garcia’s family and their supporters were on hand.

Her mother, Luzmina Alvarado, and aunt Evelinda Alvarado spoke through an interpreter at Holder’s invitation.

Her mother said all she wanted to know was how Mejia-Ramos could have done it. “I opened my door to him, and opened my heart,” she said. “She needed a man who would protect her and support her.”

“My daughter was my only child,” she said unable to hold back tears. “He took her, and he took two little princesses.”

She said Mejia-Ramos destroyed not only her family, but his own.

“I want him to ask God for forgiveness,” she said.

Garcia’s aunt said her niece had so many dreams when she arrived in the United States from her native Guatemala. “And he destroyed those dreams,” she said through the interpreter.

Holder, who said domestic violence has caused far too many people to kill their spouses, said he could not begin to comprehend the killing of two innocent children. “You picked them up and kissed them ... and then killed them,” he said. “A father is supposed to protect his children, not kill them. A father is supposed to take his children to school and teach them how to ride a bike, not kill them. A father is supposed to meet the boy the night of his daughter’s first date and wait up until he is sure she is safe, and walk her down the aisle to give her away at her wedding, not kill her.”

Mejia-Ramos, wearing prison orange and surrounded by court officers, spoke briefly, saying that his sentence could not fix the damage he had caused, and asking for forgiveness.

Holder earlier had said that even hardened, career criminals who passed through his courtroom were shocked at the crime. Likely with that in mind, Anastasiou requested and received an order that

Mejia-Ramos be held in protective custody. He has waived any right to appeal.

The judge said he accepted the plea largely to spare Garcia’s family the strain and grief that might have played out for another year had the case gone to trial. And at the end, the judge reflected on his earlier remarks about the suitability of the sentence.

“Now you have to live day after day with the image of murdering your wife and two beautiful daughters,” Holder said. “And it is my hope that that memory will cause you to lose whatever sanity you still possess.”