ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A court hearing for the man accused of the deadly shotgun rampage through the Annapolis Capital Gazette’s newsroom was canceled Monday after his public defender filed papers acting on his behalf and entered plea of not guilty.
Jarrod Ramos, 38, has been scheduled to appear in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court for an initial hearing to be advised of his rights and the charges against him. The hearing was canceled after his attorneys filed motions entering their appearance on Ramos’s behalf and requesting discovery and a speedy trial.
Ramos has been charged with five counts of murder and other counts of attempted murder, assault and weapons offenses in the June 28 shooting near Annapolis.
Ramos entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney’s court documents filed Monday morning.
Police found Ramos hiding under a desk in the offices of the Capital Gazette. Ramos had planned the attack, shooting through the newsroom’s glass doors and blocking the back door to prevent people inside from fleeing, prosecutors allege.
Ramos had a vendetta against the paper after it had run a column about his pleading guilty to harassing a former high school classmate over social media, police said. Ramos had sued the paper for defamation and lost preceding a string of threats against the paper via social media.
Police also said Ramos appeared to have mailed letters to several people or courthouses involved in his previous defamation case before the shooting. The letters arrived after his arrest.
The shooting — one of the deadliest attacks involving journalists in the United States in decades — left five people dead: editorial editor Gerald Fischman, 61; assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, 59; sportswriter and editor John McNamara, 56; sales assistant Rebecca Smith, 34; and reporter Wendi Winters, 65.
Ramos’s attorneys and the Anne Arundel Count State’s Attorney’s Office are expected to meet in the next 30 days to discuss a trial schedule.
The Office of the Public Defender in Maryland is representing Ramos, and has previously declined to comment about the case.
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