Who is Gregory Ramos? Florida teen pleads guilty to killing mom after fight over grades, burying body at church
VOLUSIA, FLORIDA: A Florida teenager has pleaded guilty under charges of killing his mother and burying her body under a church fire pit. The 17-year-old is charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with evidence.
On November 2, 2018, 15-year-old Gregory Ramos called 911 after he returned from school. When the detectives came to the scene, he told them that the house had been robbed and his mother, 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, was missing, but her van was still in the driveway. When he was further interrogated, he changed the story and said that he fought with his mom over a "D-grade" he received in his school and during the fight, he strangled her and it took him 30 minutes to kill her. Ramos told authorities that he strangled his mother as a “preemptive strike", thinking she would one day kill him, arrest records state. Deputies have said that the investigation revealed no evidence that indicated an abusive relationship between the two.
After committing the crime, Ramos buried the body with the help of his two friends. The two friends who helped him have been charged as adults with being accessories after the fact to a capital felony. They have both pleaded not guilty.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said, "To watch how cold and callous and calculating he was, I think was probably the most shocking thing for all of us. No sign of remorse whatsoever."
Ramos was a police explorer with the Orange City Police Department, it is a program in which youngsters work with deputies as volunteers. Chitwood also added that the boy was studying criminal justice and crime scene investigation at University High School in Orange City. He even told his deputies that he wanted to be a homicide detective when he grows up.
During his court proceedings, Ramos' public defender stated that the teen regrets his actions and is trying to better himself behind bars. "He's extremely remorseful and he regrets his actions every day," Matthew Phillips, Ramos’ public defender, told the court, according to WKMG-TV, "and he's been trying to be productive; while he’s been in custody, he has been studying for a high school diploma".
Ramos faces 45 years in prison for the first-degree murder charge. The case can be reviewed after 25 years as he was a minor when he murdered his mother. Upon his release, he will have to spend the rest of his life on probation. He will be sentenced in January 2021.