Read Capital Gazette’s 370-word story and the defamation lawsuit that set off Jarrod Ramos
we are publishing the defamation lawsuit ruling and the 370-word story from the Capital Gazette that Jarrod W. Ramos could not let go. Five years later Ramos gunned down five innocent people in the newspaper building, police said. The five victims had nothing to do with the story. Reporter Eric Hartley is no longer with the paper.
Ramos was never interviewed for the story and apparently, he wanted to tell his side. However, his lawyer representing the misdemeanor charge was quoted in the story. The story could not be found on the Capital’s website.
The court found no defamation because the story was accurate – and the court noted that Hartley based his story on court records.
IN THE COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS OF MARYLAND
September Term, 2013
JARROD W. RAMOS
ERIC THOMAS HARTLEY, et al.
Moylan, Charles E., Jr.
(Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.
Opinion by Moylan, J. Filed: September 17, 2015
*This is an unreported opinion, and it may not be cited in any paper, brief, motion, or other document filed in this Court or any other Maryland Court as either precedent within the rule of stare decisis or as persuasive authority. Md. Rule 1-104.
The appellant of this pro se appeal is Jarrod W. Ramos. The appellees are 1) Eric Thomas Hartley, formerly a staff writer and columnist with The Capital; 2) Thomas L. Marquardt, the editor and publisher of The Capital; and 3) Capital Gazette Communications, LLC.
The factual background to the defamation action is that on July 26, 2011, the appellant entered a guilty plea on a charge of criminal harassment in the District Court of Maryland sitting in Anne Arundel County. Judge Jonas D. Legum initially imposed a 90-day jail sentence but then suspended the sentence and placed the appellant on supervised probation for a period of 18 months with the additional requirement that the appellant continue with his ongoing therapy and that he refrain from any further contact with the harassment victim or her family.