Judge orders holding Capital Gazette newspaper shooting trial in 2 phases

(AP) -- A judge has ordered that the trial for a man charged with killing five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland will be held in two parts.

Judge Laura Ripken granted a request Tuesday by Jarrod Ramos' defense attorneys for the trial to first determine guilt or innocence. If he's found to have committed the crimes, a second phase would determine whether his mental state made him not criminally responsible.

Ramos has pleaded not guilty and not criminally responsible, Maryland's version of an insanity defense.

Ripken also granted an extension for the state health department to conduct a mental evaluation until Aug. 10.

Ramos is charged with murder in the June 28, 2018, shooting deaths of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith, Wendi Winters and John McNamara.


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