ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A forensic psychiatrist for the Maryland Health Department believes the man charged with killing five Capital Gazette staffers is legally sane, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge said Monday.
The 124-page report was completed at least a month ago after the doctor extensively evaluated the man charged with murdering Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters on June 28, 2018.
During a pretrial hearing in Annapolis, Judge Laura Ripken described the Health Department evaluation as finding that Jarrod Ramos was legally sane. Neither attorneys for the prosecution nor the defense disputed her description.
The 39-year-old faces five counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, six counts of first-degree assault, among a host of other charges. He has pleaded not guilt and not criminally responsible to all counts. Trial is set to begin Nov. 4.
If Ramos is found guilty of the deadly attack, a second phase of the trial will determine if he is criminally responsible.
Ramos’ attorneys hired mental health experts, defense attorneys said last week. But Ripken denied prosecutors’ request to review the experts’ notes from their interviews with him.
In August, Ripken had distributed the Health Department report to attorneys on both sides and, without objection, ordered that the pivotal record be sealed from public view.