BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Three men, including one already in custody, have been arrested on suspicion of killing an elderly woman during a robbery outside the Foods Co. grocery store on Haley Street.
Maxamillon McDonald, 26, Lawrence Slaughter, 28, and Christopher Patterson, 19, were arrested Tuesday, according to Bakersfield police. Each faces possible charges of murder, robbery, conspiracy and participation in a criminal street gang.
Guadalupe Ramos, 71, was attacked on August 19. An autopsy showed Ramos suffered emotion-precipitated sudden cardiac death, the coroner's office said. She also suffered blows to her trunk and extremities. The coroner states the "manner of death is homicide."
Patterson is now identified by police as the man suspected of coming up behind Ramos, ripping a gold chain from her neck, and knocking her to the ground. Eyewitness News checked local court records and discovered Patterson has been arrested a number of times before.
In several cases from 2011, records show Patterson was charged with attempted murder, shooting at a motor vehicle, participation in a gang, drunk driving and drug possession.
"So, he has a rap sheet, a criminal history," daughter Angelica Ramos said when a reporter told her about the court records. "So, this is nothing new, so he knows what he was doing."
She was near her mother when the attack happened, but her back was turned, and she didn't get a clear look at the suspect.
"He had an arm around Mama's neck, and with this arm he yanked the chain off her neck and threw her down on her back," Ramos recalled. The daughter tried to help her injured mother and lifted her into the car.
"She was breathing real hard," Ramos said.
The mother died later at the hospital.
McDonald was arrested for robbery within a day of the incident, and he was initially accused of grabbing the necklace. But, a police statement on Wednesday points to Patterson.
"Further investigation revealed that Patterson was the suspect that forcibly removed the victim's necklace," the report reads. "Patterson ran to a prearranged location where McDonald and Slaughter were waiting in a getaway vehicle."
Angelica Ramos said she and her daughter went to a court hearing for McDonald, and both wondered if he was the man who attacked Guadalupe.
"My daughter was right next to (her grandmother)," Ramos said. "And she said, 'Mom, it doesn't look like that guy.'"
She also wondered, but didn't have a clear look at the suspect.
Police had released a sketch, and McDonald was identified and arrested. Officers told Eyewitness News that McDonald had also been identified from a very similar robbery of a gold chain at a FoodMaxx store in southwest Bakersfield the day before.
Ramos is very grateful to the community, media and police for making the quick arrest of McDonald, and continuing the investigation that led to the two additional suspects.
The family is reeling from the murder of her son, Angel Ramos, in late July. Angelica Ramos said he was the victim of a gang shooting.
Now, her mother is also gone. Ramos said her mother weighed only 70 pounds, and she can't understand why she was attacked.
"If they wanted the chain, she would have given it to them," Ramos said. "It didn't have to come to this."
The family just got back Tuesday from burying Guadalupe Ramos in Texas.
"She wanted to be buried next to her great-grandmother who raised her," Ramos said.
Now, the daughter wants justice for her mother. "I hope they get what's coming to them," Ramos said about the three suspects.
"They knew what they were doing, they planned it out," Ramos continued. "My mother didn't have to die like that, that's a senseless way to die."