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Defamation suit at center of testimony in Capital Gazette shooting trial

Anne Arundel County Court House
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 13:06:52-04

ANNAPOLIS — “There is no life outside of this,” 41-year-old Jarrod Ramos wrote in a legal document that’s what he told his psychotherapist about his fight for punitive justice. The Capital Gazette mass murderer was involved in a years long court battle over perceived defamation published in the newspaper after his harassment guilty plea in 2011. This is what ultimately led to his retaliation against innocent paper staffers, murdering five of them in their office three years ago.

Day five of his trial to determine criminal responsibility started with defense witness Thomas Lancaster, a private investigator for the Office of the Public Defender, going over all the legal documents associated with the defendants criminal harassment case in 2011 and its fallout. It consisted of hundreds of pages, several cases, the majority of it authored by the mass shooter.

The passages read aloud for the jury today are actual case filings where Ramos explains his side and contain biblical language like "Thou shalt not lie." Another passage read, “Man has a right to his good name. Rob him of this and you rob him of all.”

In legal documents regarding the defendants lawsuit against the Capital Gazette for perceived defamation in an article about his harassment guilty plea, Ramos called it "malicious defamation" & "libel at will." He wrote he was a "capable person" who devoted a year to prosecuting his case.

Lancaster then went through the application for statement of charges Ramos filed against the victim for perjury in 2012.

“I care a great deal about truth… Her statements must not defile our courts any longer.”

He wrote he has suffered and continues to incur harm and is in search of truth and justice.

All of his motions were denied. He then appealed the rulings, exhausting all avenues because he was unsuccessful.

Then it was the State’s Attorney’s turn to cross examine, making the case that he was intelligent in these filings.

“I wouldn’t agree that they made sense,” said Lancaster.

Then, defense called to the stand former Annapolis City police officer David Dixon, who met with a Capital Gazette reporter in 2012, six years before the rampage. That reporter wanted to file harassment charges against the defendant for his disturbing comments made to her on Twitter.

Ramos was not charged.

This story will continue to be updated.