Two of the three suspects charged in the 2020 murder of Joshua Ramos in Potter County are asking a judge to suppress their confessions and toss out the death penalty as a possible sentence.
Krysten Crosby, 22, of Tioga, Kyle Moore, 30, of Galeton, and Felicia Cary, 34, of Galeton, were all charged with murder for Ramos’ death.
Attorneys for Crosby and Moore have filed omnibus pretrial motions in their cases.
Crosby’s attorney, J.D. Ryan of Reynoldsville, filed a 6 page motion, while Moore’s attorney, Edward Rymsza, filed a 62-page motion.
In Crosby’s case the motions include seeking to suppress her statements to police, a change of venue, to sequester the jurors, to individually question each potential juror, and to limit the “visual evidence” of Ramos’ body that is shown to jurors to avoid unduly prejudicing the defendant.
“At the time of her arrest, (Crosby) almost immediately made incriminating statements,” the motion read. Her admissions and other statements “came so quickly, arresting officers were not able to complete issuing her the Miranda warnings required when a detained person is interrogated.”
Saying Crosby was “rambling and emotional” throughout the interrogation, Ryan argued that she was intoxicated, making her statements involuntarily given.
The attorney also argued against the death penalty, saying the prosecution has failed to provide evidence that Crosby committed the killing.
In Moore’s case, many of the same motions were made, along with a motion to suppress physical evidence from Moore’s phone, to suppress his “hundreds” of prison phone calls, to suppress video and photographic evidence of Ramos’ body, for disclosure of any promises or leniency promised to anyone who is being called as a prosecution witness, against allowing “victim impact” evidence, and to preclude the death penalty.
Moore’s attorney said that while in custody, after his client was read his Miranda warnings, he inquired about an attorney. However, he signed the Miranda waiver and was interrogated for more than three hours. “All of the alleged statements were obtained in violation of Mr. Moore’s … rights,” the motion read.
He argued, too, that the search warrant for Moore’s phone failed to establish probable cause that evidence would be found in the phone, and should be suppressed.
While incarcerated, Moore spoke to family and friends on the recorded telephone lines at the Potter County Jail. The attorney argued that the hundreds of calls shouldn’t be admissible because, while the jail indicates the calls are recorded, it doesn’t say they could be given to the prosecution and used against him.
Regarding the victim impact evidence, the motion indicates that should Moore be convicted, the prosecution would want to introduce impact statements. However, Rymsza argued, there is no standard of proof and no guidance to the jury on how much weight such statements should be given. Therefore, he asked the judge to prevent victim impact evidence.
Several arguments against the death penalty were made as well, including whether it is cruel and unusual punishment.
According to the online docket, a hearing on Moore’s motions had been scheduled for Aug. 26 at 1 p.m., but has been postponed. No new date was given.
As for Crosby’s case, a hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 7 in Potter County Court before Judge Stephen Minor.
In the case against Cary, the online docket did not indicate that an omnibus pretrial motion had been filed. She is represented by attorney Chris Pentz of Clearfield.
Ramos, 19, a New Jersey man who was living in Galeton, was killed in late March or early April, 2020, but it was not until July 5 that his murder was brought to the attention of law enforcement, according to the criminal complaint in the case.
All three were initially charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Court records indicate the following charges have since been added, again against all three defendants: second degree murder; kidnap to inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim, a first-degree felony; and tampering with/fabricating physical evidence, a second-degree misdemeanor.
All charges were bound to court at a preliminary hearing, according to court records.
The criminal complaint described a cruel and drawn-out assault that began at a home in Galeton, where Moore, Crosby and Cary allegedly beat Ramos for around an hour, and then began to humiliate him.
Next, they had Ramos get in a van and lie down in the third row seat. The three defendants, Ramos and a fifth person — a witness who brought the allegations to the attention of law enforcement — drove first to Ole Bull State Park in Stewardson Township, but they left because they were worried they’d be spotted on a trail camera, the complaint stated.
They started driving toward Whitman Road in Harrison Township, where the three defendants took Ramos into the woods while the fifth person stayed behind. They were gone for about two hours and returned without Ramos.
On July 6, after the alleged crime was reported, Ramos’s body was found in a wooded area near the intersection of Harrison Rooks Road and Whitman Road in Harrison Township.
Crosby, Moore and Cary are incarcerated in Potter County Jail without bail due to the seriousness of the charges against them.