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Murder Laid Out in Letter – Lawyer [2004-09-06]

Ralph R. Ortega [New York Daily News]
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The lovelorn janitor suspected of gunning down a co-worker in the Manhattan hospital where they worked outlined the deadly plot in a letter to the woman’s mother, a lawyer for the victim’s family said yesterday.

The unmailed note was found in Ruben Ramirez’s Bronx apartment after he turned himself in to cops, lawyer Peter DeFilippis told the Daily News.

Carmen Velez, 31, died July 30, two days after police say Ramirez pumped a bullet into her eye on a pedestrian bridge at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in Washington Heights.

A copy of the letter was shown to the victim’s family by law enforcement officials, according to DeFilippis.

In the letter, Ramirez, 54, allegedly wrote that he “planned on killing” Velez and apologized to her mom, Emelinda Ramirez, “for what he is about to do.”

Ruben Ramirez told cops he and Velez had dated. He said she gave him a gun and asked him to kill a former boyfriend – and contends the weapon fired when she grabbed it from him on the pedestrian bridge.

Her family furiously disputes those claims.

Relatives contend that Ruben Ramirez targeted Velez, a mother of three, after she turned down his repeated advances.

“There was no romance, and this letter proves it,” the victim’s brother Jose Ramirez said yesterday. “This was premeditated. He had it all planned out,” he added. “My sister was a tiny woman who would never threaten or hurt anyone.”

Ruben Ramirez has been charged with murder by a grand jury and is set to be arraigned tomorrow.

His lawyer, Frank Rothman, said he was not aware of the letter and needed to speak with Ramirez before commenting.

DeFilippis said family members also saw letters that Ramirez allegedly sent to his two daughters in which he apologized and hinted he was suicidal.

“It sounds like his plan was to shoot and kill Carmen, and then take his own life,” said DeFilippis. “But he may have lost his nerve.”