Local News

Thursday, May 09 2013 10:09 AM

Victim's family frustrated at postponed sentencing in necklace snatching death

  1. 1 of 2

    By Alex Horvath / The Californian

    Maxamillion McDonald, one of three men charged with robbery and murder in connection with the death of an elderly woman whose necklace they snatched from around her neck, was scheduled to be sentenced previously but it was postponed when McDonald hired a new attorney. McDonald's new attorney is Fred Dorton. This photo was taken during a previous court hearing.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 2

    By Alex Horvath / The Californian

    Victim Guadalupe Ramos's daughter, Natalie Ramos, spoke to news media about hoping for closure before Mother's Day. Maxamillion McDonald, one of three men charged with robbery and murder in connection with the death of an elderly woman whose necklace they snatched from around her neck, was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday. But the proceeding was postponed when McDonald hired a new attorney, Fred Dorton.

    click to expand click to collapse
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Sentencing for convicted murderer Maxamillon McDonald was postponed for a second time Thursday, frustrating the victim's family members as they had hoped to reach some closure before Mother's Day.

"He took my mother's life," said Natalie Ramos, the adult daughter of victim Guadalupe Ramos.

Natalie Ramos said she's disappointed with the delay. Some family members had traveled from San Francisco to see McDonald sentenced, and now they have to make plans to return for the new date of June 13.

The postponement was a result of McDonald, 27, substituting another attorney for sentencing. Beverly HIlls attorney Fred Dorton took over the case from Deputy Public Defender Pam Singh at McDonald's request.

Dorton requested a 60-day continuance, but Judge Thomas S. Clark said he believed Dorton could get caught up in 30 days.

"There's been a great deal of inconvenience to the family of the victim, but under the circumstances I'm compelled to grant a continuance," Clark said.

Dorton said outside the courtroom that McDonald's family had contacted him to review the case and conduct a thorough investigation of the facts. He said one concern is that McDonald was charged with murder, but it's the attorney's understanding McDonald was "not really" at the scene.

The law allows a murder charge against someone who participates in a crime that ends in death even if that person had no intention of killing.

Authorities have said McDonald and two others -- Lawrence Slaughter, 29, and Christopher Patterson, 20 -- were involved in the robbery of Guadalupe Ramos. Police said Patterson knocked the 72-year-old Ramos down as he snatched a necklace from her Aug. 19 outside the Foods Co. market on Haley Street.

Ramos died of cardiac arrest due to an irregular heartbeat brought about by blunt force trauma, the coroner's office reported.

After the robbery, Patterson ran to a car occupied by Slaughter and McDonald and they drove away, police said. McDonald was convicted April 8 of murder, robbery and participating in a criminal street gang.

Slaughter was convicted of the same crimes and is scheduled to be sentenced Monday. Patterson's next hearing is scheduled for May 21.

Have something to share? Comment on this story
Today's Daily Deal
from
Bakersfield.com
$7.50
Daily Deal Image
Star's Cafe
$15 of Food for only $7.50 from Stars Cafe
  • Value
    $15
  • Savings
    $7.50
  • Bought
    29
Buy Now