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Cops & Courts

Teen pleads not guilty to murder charges in death of Margaret Douglas

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    Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, leaves the courtroom Tuesday morning after pleading not guilty to nine charges against him in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, is arraigned Tuesday morning before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler on nine charges, including aggravated murder, in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, is arraigned Tuesday morning before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler on nine charges, including aggravated murder, in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    County Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson addresses the court Tuesday during the arraignment of 17-year-old Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth. Ramsay pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including aggravated murder, in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Chief Public Defender Jocelyn Stefancin files a motion for a gag order Tuesday regarding 17-year-old Gavon N. Ramsays case. Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler set a June13 hearing on the matter. Ramsay pleaded not guilty Tuesday to nine charges against him in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler sets a jury trial Tuesday for Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, of Wadsworth, for 9 a.m. Aug. 6. Ramsay pleaded not guilty to nine charges against him in the death of 98-year-old Wadsworth resident Margaret Douglas.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — The Wadsworth teenager charged with aggravated murder in the death of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas pleaded not guilty to all nine counts against him Tuesday morning.

Gavon N. Ramsay, 17, responded, “Yes, your honor,” as Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler asked if he understood each of the counts against him after she read each one.

“At this time, we will enter pleas of not guilty to the indictment,” Chief Public Defender Jocelyn Stefancin said during Ramsay’s arraignment hearing.

Ramsay was indicted May 22 by a county grand jury on four aggravated murder counts, two counts of murder, one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary and one count of gross abuse of a corpse in the April death of Douglas.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Kimbler also addressed motions for a gag order and transporting Ramsay for a medical evaluation.

Stefancin, who represents Ramsay, filed a motion asking Kimbler to implement a gag order.

County Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson said the state at this time objected to a gag order.

“In this matter, there is a standard protocol that needs to be had in a hearing set by the court before such an order of prior restraint can be imposed,” Thompson said.

Kimbler said a gag order is only to be issued “under unusual circumstances,” and she scheduled a hearing on the motion for 8:30 a.m. June 13.

“Until such time, there is no order in place,” she said.

Concerning Stefacin’s motion to transport Ramsay to Alternative Paths on Friday for a medical evaluation, Kimbler said: I’m curious as to why this is necessary.”

Stefancin said Friday’s evaluation is the second of a two-part evaluation order that initially was signed by Juvenile/Probate Judge Kevin Dunn before Ramsay was bound over to adult court.

Thompson said the state had no objection to the transfer request, “as long as the report that is issued is forthcoming to the state as well.”

Stefancin said the evaluation is for medical treatment and she does not believe the state is entitled to the information under those circumstances.

Kimbler asked Stefancin why the evaluation could not be done at the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center, where Ramsay is being held on $1 million bond.

“The counselor at the (juvenile detention center) who arranged for this indicated that it had to be done at Alternative Paths,” Stefancin said.

Kimbler said she would consider the transport order if Stefancin could show that the evaluation could not be completed at the detention center.

The judge also scheduled a pretrial hearing for 8 a.m. July 23 and a jury trial for 9 a.m. Aug. 6.

Ramsay was arrested April 16 in the Cleveland area after Wadsworth police detectives were notified of his possible involvement in Douglas’ death.

Douglas’ body was discovered April 9 in a closet in her home in the 300 block of Portage Street. It was concealed by various items and clothing. It is believed she died in the early hours of April 6, police said.

Judge Dunn determined the teen met the necessary statutory factors to be tried as an adult during a May 16 hearing.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.


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