One of the suspected bank robbers from last summer’s deadly shootout in Stockton is facing the death penalty. The San Joaquin District Attorney’s Office announced they will be seeking the death penalty for Jaime Ramos, the only surviving suspect from July 2014’s Bank of the West robbery.
Ramos’ co-defendant, who investigators say dropped the trio off at the bank, Pablo Ruvalcaba, is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
The family of one defendant broke out into tears when Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau announced the D.A. would be seeking the death penalty. Himelblau said the decision did not come lightly.
Ramos walked into the San Joaquin County Courtroom on Monday handcuffed, donning an orange jumpsuit.
"When the District Attorney makes a decision to seek death, it’s an extremely, extremely difficult decision and it’s done because it’s the right thing to do,” Himelblau said.
Stockton police investigators said Ramos, along with Gilbert Renteria and Alex Martinez, robbed a Bank of the West in Stockton in July of 2014. Renteria and Martinez were killed in the shootout.
The deadly shootout ripped through the city, a large police chase ensued and hostage Misty Holt-Singh was shot 10 times by officer-issued bullets. Investigators said Ramos used Holt-Singh as a human shield.
“We’re going to treat this like any other serious case or any case,” Himelblau said.
Three months after the deadly shootout, Ruvalcaba was announced as a person of interest. He turned himself in to police and talked to FOX40 at the time stating:
“I just wanted to clear my name, so I don’t got dirt on my name,” Pablo Ruvalcaba said in September 2014.
Investigators claimed Ruvalcaba was the driver who dropped off the trio at the bank. The D.A’s office said both men will have separate trials, but they will take place at the same time.
Trials for both men are set for January 2016.