A Florida teenager has pleaded guilty to murder charges, admitting he killed his mother and buried her body under a church fire pit.
Gregory Ramos pleaded guilty on Wednesday to first-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with evidence.
Now 17, Ramos was 15 years old in 2018 when he got into a fight with his mother over his grades, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He admitted to strangling 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, then calling two friends to help him bury her body and stage a robbery at his house.
He was charged as an adult.
During court proceedings, Ramos' public defender told the judge the teen regrets his actions and is trying to better himself behind bars.
"He's extremely remorseful and he regrets his actions every day," Matthew Phillips, Ramos’ public defender, told the court, according to WKMG-TV, "and he's been trying to be productive; while he’s been in custody, he has been obtaining a high school diploma."
Ramos initially called 911 after arriving home from school on November 2, 2018. When detectives arrived, he told them he came home to discover that the house had been robbed. He alleged that his mother was missing, but her van was still running in the driveway.
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Upon further interrogation, Ramos changed his story, saying that they fought over a "D" grade he'd received in school. During the altercation, he strangled her. He said it took about 30 minutes for him to kill her.
He then called two friends to help him cover up the killing. They have both been charged as adults with being accessories after the fact to a capital felony. They have both pleaded not guilty.
Ramos faces 45 years in prison on the first-degree murder charge, but the case can be reviewed after 25 years because he was a minor when he killed his mother. Ramos' plea asks that he serve sentences for the two lesser charges concurrently with the murder charge. Upon his release, he will spend the rest of is life on probation.
He will be sentenced in January 2021.
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