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A 17-year-old Florida boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing his mother following a fight over a bad grade, according to reports.
Gregory Ramos — who was 15 when charged in 2018 with strangling his 46-year-old mother, Gail Cleavenger, after a fight about a “D” he received at school — agreed to a 45-year prison sentence under a plea deal, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Ramos, who lived with his mother in DeBary, pleaded guilty in Volusia County to charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a dead body and tampering with evidence. He was charged as an adult and potentially faced up to life in prison, the newspaper reported.
Ramos, who also agreed to a lifetime of probation, will have a chance at parole when his sentence is reviewed in 25 years. He will be formally sentenced on Jan. 22, WFTV reported.
Authorities have said a “soulless” Ramos confessed to killing Cleavenger, whose body was found buried beneath a fire pit at a church. He called 911 in November 2018 one day after the slaying and claimed his mother was missing following a burglary, but detectives doubted his story due in part of scratches on his face, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood previously said.
Ramos also staged a crime scene with the help of two friends, Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, both 17 at the time, who later confessed to helping Ramos, police said.
“This was a tragedy beyond understanding,” Chitwood’s office tweeted Wednesday. “May Gail Cleavenger rest in peace. Thanks to the deputies, detectives and prosecutors who worked so hard on this difficult case.”
Chitwood previously characterized Ramos as a “soulless individual” who was one of the “top three sociopaths” he had ever met.
Ramos confessed after hours of police interviews, telling investigators it took him 30 minutes to strangle his mother after a fight they had a day earlier, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“He is extremely remorseful and he regrets his actions every day,” Ramos’ attorney, Matt Phillips, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “He is looking forward to having a release date and proving he can be a productive citizen.”
If charged and ultimately convicted as a juvenile, Ramos would have been released from custody at age 21, the newspaper reported.
Ceglarek and Porras, meanwhile, were also charged as adults and face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of accessory after the fact to premeditated first-degree murder, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
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