3 charged with killing elderly woman during robbery

3 charged with killing elderly woman during robbery »Play Video
Three men, one unseen behind the man in the suit, are arraigned Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Kern County court on murder and robbery charges, accused of killing an elderly woman when they ripped a gold chain from her neck.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Three men were arraigned Thursday on murder and robbery charges, accused of killing an elderly woman when they ripped a gold chain from her neck.

Maxamillon McDonald, 26, Lawrence Slaughter, 28, and Christopher Patterson, 19, were arrested Tuesday. They're also charged with gang participation.

Guadalupe Ramos, 71, was attacked on Aug. 19 outside the Foods Co. grocery store on Haley Street. An autopsy showed that 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 has been identified by Bakersfield police as the man suspected of coming up behind Ramos, ripping a gold chain from her neck, and knocking her to the ground. McDonald was initially accused of the strong-armed robbery.

"Further investigation revealed that Patterson was the suspect that forcibly removed the victim's necklace," a police report reads. "Patterson ran to a prearranged location where McDonald and Slaughter were waiting in a getaway vehicle."

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.

The victim's daughter, Angelica Ramos, said her mother weighed only 70 pounds. Ramos said she can't understand why her mom was attacked.

"If they wanted the chain, she would have given it to them," Ramos said. "It didn't have to come to this."