Saturday, March 23, 2019 Medina 28°
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Cops & Courts

1. Brutal murder of widow shocks community

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    Margaret Douglas

    MG

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    A closeup of Gavon Ramsay's handcuffs while he stood in Medina County Common Pleas Court Friday when he entered a plea of no contest to nine counts in the murder of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Gavon Ramsay, left, changed his plea from not guilty to no contest in Medina County Common Pleas Court Friday in the murder of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas. Chief public defender Jocelyn Stefancin is standing next to him.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, plead not guilty to nine charges against him in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, is arraigned Tuesday morning before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler on nine charges, including aggravated murder, in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    County Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson addresses the court Tuesday during the arraignment of 17-year-old Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth. Ramsay pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including aggravated murder, in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Chief Public Defender Jocelyn Stefancin files a motion for a gag order Tuesday regarding 17-year-old Gavon N. Ramsays case. Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler set a June13 hearing on the matter. Ramsay pleaded not guilty Tuesday to nine charges against him in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler sets a jury trial Tuesday for Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, for 9 a.m. Aug. 6. Ramsay pleaded not guilty to nine charges against him in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, was arraigned in the courtroom of Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler Tuesday morning. Ramsay entered a plea of not guilty to nine counts in relation to the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Medina County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Dunn determined May 16 that 17-year-old Gavon Ramsay, right, would be tried as an adult in connection with the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas. On Tuesday, Ramsay was indicted on nine charges, including four counts of aggravated murder.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Medina County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Dunn determined that 17-year-old Gavon Ramsay, center, will be tried as an adult in connection to the murder of 90-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Medina County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Dunn determined that 17-year-old Gavon Ramsay, center, will be tried as an adult in connection to the murder of 90-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    A memorial wreath graces the front porch of Margaret Douglas’ home on Portage Street in Wadsworth on Wednesday. A 17-year-old Wadsworth High School student faces murder charges in connection with her death.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    The body of Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas, 98, was discovered by police April 9 in her Portage Street home.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    The body of Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas, 98, was discovered by police April 9 in her Portage Street home.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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The April 9 discovery of Margaret Douglas’ body inside a closet in her Wadsworth home left a community in need of answers.

The 98-year-old widow was strangled to death and then hidden in the closet, covered with various items and clothing. It is believed she died April 6 in the early morning hours, police said.

On April 16, the shock of the brutal crime was only amplified when police arrested 17-year-old Wadsworth High School student Gavon Ramsay. He was later indicted by a grand jury on nine counts, including four aggravated murder charges, two counts of murder, one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary and one count of gross abuse of a corpse.

It was determined Ramsay would be tried as an adult and for months the burning question of why would a teenage boy kill his elderly neighbor remained unanswered for the community. Ramsay initially pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and a gag order issued by the court barred attorneys on both side from saying a word.

The most damning aspect of the case was made public months later. Then, it was learned that Ramsay had videos of a deceased Douglas on a cell phone he used and police had journal writings from Ramsay with his fantasies of murder.

Soon, the teen elected to withdraw a previous plea of not guilty and entered a plea of no contest in connection with the brutal killing of the widow.

Medina County Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson said after the plea hearing that in his opinion, Ramsay “seemed to be on his way down that path (to becoming a serial killer). He seemed fascinated with it, by the whole concept.”

According to court documents, the prosecution will seek a sentence of life imprison without the possibility of parole when Ramsay is set to be sentenced Thursday.



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