A teen in Volusia County, Florida who admitted to killing his mother and then burying her remains beneath a fire pit at a local church was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Gregory Ramos pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder, abuse of a body, and tampering with evidence. On Friday, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison, with the sentence set to be reviewed after 25 years. His punishment also meant that he will be on probation for the rest of his life.
Gregory Ramos, fifteen, pleaded guilty to strangling his mother to death and then trying to hide the body.
Now 17, Ramos was just 15 years old in 2018 when he got into an altercation with his mother over his poor grades, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He admitted to strangling 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, then calling two of his friends to help him bury her body, and then stage a robbery at his house.
The teen was charged as an adult. During court proceedings, Ramos’ public defender told the judge his client regrets his crimes and is trying to improve himself behind bars.
“He’s extremely remorseful and he regrets his actions every day,” Matthew Phillips, Ramos’ public defender, told the court last month, WKMG-TV reported, “and he’s been trying to be productive; while he’s been in custody, he has been obtaining a high school diploma.”
Ramos originally called 911 after returning home from school on November 2, 2018. When detectives arrived at the scene, he told them he came home to find that the house had been robbed. He alleged that his mother was missing, but her van was still running in the home’s driveway.
Upon further questioning from the police, Ramos changed his story, saying that they fought over a “D” grade he’d received in school. During the argument, he strangled her. He said it took a staggering 30 minutes for him to kill her.
He then called two friends who he employed to help him cover up the killing. They have both been charged as adults with being accessories after the fact to a capital felony. Both pleaded not guilty.
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According to WESH-TV, Ramos was outwardly emotional during the sentencing hearing, telling relatives that he was sorry for his actions. He also made no excuses for himself.
At one point, the judge allowed Ramos’ 84-year-old grandmother to see his face close up for the first time since he was jailed. She prayed with Ramos and told him that she will always be there for him.
Ramos has been remanded to a Florida state prison to serve his sentence.
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