State of Missouri v. Roy Ramsey

864 S.W. 2d 320 (Mo. banc 1993)

Roy Ramsey was executed on April 14, 1999

Case Facts
: On November 21, 1988 Roy Ramsey accompanied by his brother Billy Ramsey and Billy’s girlfriend Angela Ray drove to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Garnett and Betty Ledford in Grandview, Missouri. The Ramseys knocked on the door and Mr. Ledford answered. Billy Ramsey reminded Mr. Ledford that they had previously been acquainted through the Ledfords’ son-in-law who had served time in jail with Billy Ramsey. Mr. Ledford talked to the Ramseys for awhile whereupon Roy Ramsey pulled out a .22 caliber pistol and ordered everyone inside.

Inside the Ledford home they confronted Mrs. Ledford. Roy Ramsey pointed the gun at her and demanded that she give them money, jewelry and other valuables. Mr. and Mrs. Ledford were ordered into their bedroom where Mrs. Ledford opened a safe. While Roy stayed with the Ledfords Billy went through the house and took guns and a video cassette recorder and placed them beside the front door.

Roy Ramsey placed the items from the safe into a pillowcase. Billy returned to the living room with the pillowcase and was preparing to leave when he heard a series of gunshots. Roy Ramsey later told his brother that he had to kill the Ledfords because they could identify Billy and would be able to pick him out of a lineup.

The three, hen drove back to the Ramsey family home. During the ride back home Billy Ramsey took money from Mr. Ledford’s wallet and then threw the wallet out of the car. The wallet was later found that afternoon by two schoolgirls with Mr. Ledford’s identification in it. Laboratory analysis later discovered Billy Ramsey’s fingerprints on the wallet.

At the Ramseys’ home the Lefords’ possessions were divided among Roy, Billy and their mother Effie Ramsey. The items taken were cash, jewelry, guns and silver coins amounting to about $7,500. Learning that his brother received a larger share of the loot Billy Ramsey took the murder weapon and pawned it.

A few days later when Angela Ray learned that the Ledfords had been killed during the robbery she became angry whereupon Roy Ramsey threatened to kill her if she told any one of the incident. Angela Ray then fled to Memphis, Tennessee. After connecting the Ramseys to the Ledford murder through the wallet, the police found Angela Ray and interviewed her.

On November 26, 1988 Ray Ramsey was taken into custody and one of the silver coins stolen from the Ledfords was found in his possession. Ballistics examinations determined that the bullets retrieved from the Ledfords matched shell casings found at the scene of the murder and had been fired from Ramsey’s .22 caliber pistol.

Legal Chronology

03/25 – Ramsey was sentenced to ten years in Jackson County, Missouri on the charge of Robbery First Degree and remanded to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

02/16 — Ramsey was sentenced to five years in Jackson County, Missouri on the charge of Robbery First Degree and remanded to the Missouri Department of Corrections. March 11, 1977 Ramsey was sentenced to 15 years in Jackson County, Missouri on the charge of Sodomy and remanded to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

11/21 – Roy Ramsey murders Garnett and Betty Ledford in their home in Jackson County, Missouri.

12/3 – Ramsey is found guilty of two counts of murder first degree and the jury recommends death on each charge.

3/14 – Ramsey if formally sentenced to death by the Court.
7/16 – Ramsey files a post-conviction relief motion in the Jackson County Circuit Court.

7/7 – The Jackson County Circuit Court denies Ramsey’s post-conviction relief motion.

10/26 – The Missouri Supreme court affirms the Circuit Court’s denial of Ramsey’s post-conviction relief motion along with Ramsey’s conviction and sentence.

5/2 – The United States   Supreme Court denies Ramsey’s petition for writ of certiorari.
5/24 – Ramsey files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

9/5 – The District Court denies Ramsey’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

6/10 – The United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit affirms the District Court’s denial.

2/22 – The United States Supreme Court denies Ramsey’s petition for writ of certiorari.
3/8 – The Missouri State Supreme Court sets Ramsey’s execution date for April 14, 1999.