Forensic Psychiatrist Testifies In Day Two Of Motions Hearing For Capital Gazette Shooting Case

Dr. Saathoff said it's his opinion that Ramos is not insane, and took careful steps to plan the shooting. When Dr. Saathoff took the stand, Ramos, whose view was obstructed, asked to be moved over so that he could see the witness.

Video Transcript

- This was day two of a motions hearing in the case against Jarrod Ramos. He's the man who pleaded guilty in the mass shooting at the "Capital Gazette" that left five people dead. Prosecutors brought in an expert who believes Ramos is criminally responsible. His attorneys are trying to argue an insanity defense. Ava-joye Burnett is live in Annapolis right now with what happened in court today. Ava-joye?

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The prosecutors brought in a forensic psychiatrist. And he said the fact that Ramos was able to plan and execute that attack is an indication that he is mentally sound. Of course, Ramos' attorneys disagree with that. And at times, things got really contentious in the courtroom.

Prosecutors brought in Dr. Gregory Saathoff today, a long-time forensic psychiatrist at the University of Virginia. He said it's his opinion Jarrod Ramos is not insane and took careful steps to plan the mass shooting at the "Capital Gazette" in 2018. When Dr. Saathoff took to the stand, Ramos' view was obstructed, asked to be moved over so that he could see the witness. Dr. Saathoff testified that Ramos' grievance against the newspaper because of a previous article they had written about him motivated him to plan the attack.

The doctor testified that the calculated, methodical efforts that were actualized, speak to criminal responsibility and the state of mind of Mr. Ramos being aware. The doctor also testified that Ramos, who killed five people, had a plan to ensure his own safety once police arrived. This is the moment officers took him into custody. Ramos has already pleaded guilty, but the next phase of the trial will determine if he's criminally responsible, Maryland's version of an insanity case.

The defense asked the court to limit Dr. Saathoff's testimony in June's upcoming trial, and the judge granted some of those requests. One motion in particular will prohibit prosecutors from directly comparing Ramos to other mass shooters. And we mentioned that things got really contentious between the attorneys. At one point, the judge himself had to step in and say, I object to the two of you bickering. Live tonight in Annapolis, Ava-joye Burnett for WJZ.