An Ohio man who mistakenly called a dumpster company in an apparently drunken — and failed — attempt to hire a hitman to kill his adult son has been sentenced to more than a year behind bars.
Desmen Ramsey, 58, will spend 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to aggravated assault charges in connection with calls he made to Budget Dumpster Company in October, Cleveland.com reported.
Ramsey apparently thought he was calling his friend “Jesse.” He identified himself as “Tommy” and left three messages.
“It’s a five grand hit on him,” Ramsey reportedly said in one of three voicemail messages left on Oct. 13, 2022. “I don’t give a f— where he’s at or what he’s doing or who he be with. Kill that b—-.”
Ramsey’s second message was blank.
“It’s business. This ain’t bulls—” he allegedly said in a third voicemail, in which he asked his friend to call him back “ASAP.”
Budget Dumpster employees discovered the voicemails the following morning, Cleveland.com reported. The caller ID information displayed Ramsey’s name and phone number.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge David Matia, who read transcripts of the messages out loud in court, issued the maximum possible sentence for the aggravated assault charge, the outlet reported. Ramsey had initially been charged with two counts of complicity, which carried a potential life sentence.
Prosecutors alleged that Ramsey believed he was calling a friend who was a member of a motorcycle club. The friend denied knowing about a murder-for-hire plot and reportedly told investigators that he wouldn’t have done it.
According to a report from local CBS affiliate WOIO, Ramsey told police he had gotten into an argument with his son recently and had made the call after drinking.
“It should never have happened,” Ramsey reportedly said. “I can admit I was not being a father. I’d never hurt my children. I’d die before I let anything happen to my children.”
“That’s my baby boy,” he also reportedly said, telling Matias that he didn’t believe the plan would actually be carried out, the Cleveland.com story said.
Ramsey’s son did not participate in his father’s prosecution, local Fox affiliate WJW reported.
At the sentencing hearing, Matias, reportedly reading from a pre-sentence investigation report, noted that Budget Dumpster’s vice president first called Cleveland police, but they were “less than helpful.” The vice president was told to reach out to the FBI, who, the judge said, was “also less than helpful.” The company finally turned to the police in Westlake, some 15 miles west of Cleveland.
Ramsey, who reportedly used a cane and struggled to walk, started sobbing as deputies led him from the courtroom in handcuffs after the hearing, according to the Cleveland.com report.
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