Death penalty sought in slaying of Sacramento officer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Prosecutors announced Thursday that they will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a rookie Sacramento policewoman in an ambush last year.

Adel Sambrano Ramos, 46, appeared in court and showed no reaction to the prosecutors' decision in a hearing that lasted only a few moments, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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Last March, Gov. Gavin Newsom halted executions for as long as he remains governor, but the death penalty remains on the books and courts have been proceeding on the assumption that executions may one day resume.

Ramos, who hasn't entered a plea, is charged with murder with special circumstances in the June 19 shooting of Tara O'Sullivan. He also is charged with weapons crimes and the attempted murder of O'Sullivan's training officer and six other officers and county sheriff's deputies during an eight-hour standoff.

A call to his attorney, Peter Kmeto, was not immediately returned.

O'Sullivan, 26, had been on the job just six months and was still in training when she was killed during a domestic violence call at Ramos' home. Ramos, who was armed with two illegal AR-15-style rifles, shot O'Sullivan as she helped a woman retrieve belongings from a home, Sacramento County prosecutors contend.

It was 45 minutes before fellow officers reached O'Sullivan, who died at a hospital. The shooter kept firing, and police officers had to wait for an armoured vehicle to arrive before they could help her. She died at a hospital.

Police Chief Daniel Hahn has said patrol car doors and protective vests wouldn't have protected officers from bullets fired from the high-powered rifle.

Ramos, a carpenter, has a long history of violence against women and once threatened to "blow up my family with a bomb," the Bee reported, citing court records.

O’Sullivan was the first Sacramento police officer killed in the line of duty since the death of William Bean Jr., who was fatally shot responding to a traffic stop in February 1999. She was the third to die in the Sacramento region last year.

Rookie Davis Officer Natalie Corona, 22, was shot last January while investigating a traffic accident. The shooter later killed himself.

El Dorado sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael was shot Oct. 23 while responding to a report of people stealing plants from a marijuana garden. Two men have been charged in that killing.

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