Man who killed pregnant Rapid Valley girlfriend denied parole - KOTA Territory News

Man who killed pregnant Rapid Valley girlfriend denied parole

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He's serving life in prison for the 1994 killing of his pregnant girlfriend in Rapid Valley, and he will stay in prison.  The Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied the first parole request from Joaquin "Jack" Ramos.

Ramos pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Debbie Jo Martines in 1994. But in 2011, Former Governor Mike Rounds commuted Ramos' sentence, making him eligible for parole this month.
 
Ramos appeared in front of the review panel last week, and a decision denying his request was issued was issued today (Tuesday).
 
Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo addressed the board last week. He said he saw no evidence that Ramos had changed.

Vargo has a unique perspective on the case: he prosecuted it 19 years ago. "He's telling the same lies now that he told 19 years ago.  He's blaming it on other people, he was trying to make it out as he was protecting Debbie Martines' children when in fact what he did was hit her with a gun and end her life."
 
Vargo said the victim's family has stayed strong, kind and forgiving through the ordeal. While they are afraid of the possibility of Ramos' release, they testified that they have forgiven him.

Ramos can apply for parole again in July.

(Original Story)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A man serving life for the 1994 killing of his pregnant girlfriend in Rapid Valley will stay in prison.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles Tuesday denied the first parole request from Joaquin Ramos.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Debbie Martines.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds, in his final term in 2010, commuted Ramos' sentence to 150 years, making Ramos eligible for parole this month.

But corrections officials had not reached the victim's family, so the recommendation was made without input from those who felt Ramos should remain in prison and serve out his life sentence behind bars.

State law prohibits the governor from reversing his clemency ruling, so instead he has recommended parole be denied for Ramos.

Ramos can apply again in July.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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