James C. Ramey, 27, appears from jail before Judge Colin J. McQuade for his video arraignment in Fulton County Eastern District Court in Swanton.
SWANTON — The Toledo man accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend was arraigned Thursday in Fulton County Eastern District Court.
James C. Ramey, 27, of 305 Fassett St., has been charged with aggravated murder as well as violating a protection order, a first-degree misdemeanor. He appeared in court Thursday via video connection from the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, where he is being held.
Ramey shot his ex-girlfriend Amanda Mangas, 23, who is also the mother of the couples’ 10-month-old child, Winston, police said. He then took Winston and Ms. Mangas’ stepmother, Deborah, 52, from the 900 block of Fernwood Avenue and fled to Indiana, according to police.
An autopsy determined Amanda Mangas died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police say Ramey also contacted Ms. Mangas Feb. 16 by social media messenger, which was a violation of a five-year protection order approved by a judge in January. Ramey asked Fulton County Eastern District Court Judge Colin J. McQuade on Thursday if he faced additional charges.
VIDEO: Ramey arraignment video
“Is it possible for me to be indicted on further charges based on the actions that took place during that time?” Ramey asked.
Judge McQuade said that was up to the county prosecutor. A message left with Fulton County Prosecutor Scott Haselman was not returned.
The Delta Police Department turned the case over Wednesday to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the FBI. BCI is investigating the homicide, while the FBI is investigating the kidnapping, according to Jill Del Greco, a BCI spokesman.
The case is still under investigation, and additional charges are possible.
Judge McQuade on Thursday set Ramey’s bond at $1 million, with no 10 percent allowed for the murder charge. For the protection order violation, bond was set at $10,000 with no 10 percent allowed.
If Ramey is convicted of murder, he could face life in prison.
Ramey appeared in court in August on misdemeanor charges of aggravated menacing and domestic violence. Police said Ramey took a steak knife to Ms. Mangas’ throat when she threatened to leave him. He pleaded no contest to aggravated menacing.
Judge Joshua Lanzinger sentenced Ramey to one year of active probation. He ordered Ramey not to contact Ms. Mangas, complete a batterer’s intervention program, and undergo alcohol assessment and treatment. The judge suspended a jail term of 180 days.
In an interview, Judge Lanzinger said nearly every case is a balance between victim safety and the likelihood of someone offending again. Ramey lacked a violent criminal record, he said.
“Certainly, we judges don’t have crystal balls and can’t see what the future is, but the probation report came back that this guy was a moderate-to-low-risk offender,” Judge Lanzinger said.
Had the judge sentenced Ramey to the maximum six months in jail, he could still leave and commit a heinous crime, Judge Lanzinger said.
He said hindsight is always clearer, but most menacing cases lead to treatment and future compliance. This sentence was intended to start Ramey on treatment and intervention. It’s not clear if Ramey completed his court-ordered programs, as court officials said such information is exempted from public-records laws.
On Thursday, Ramey requested court-appointed counsel for his current case.
Ramey was located about 10 a.m. Tuesday by a Fulton County, Ind. deputy after an Amber Alert was sent out about Winston and Mrs. Mangas’ disappearance.
He was stopped on U.S. 31 near Fulton County Road 100 N, got out of the vehicle and also took the child from the vehicle, according to Sheriff Chris Sailors.
Winston was believed to be in the back seat.
The deputy ordered Ramey to place the child down and lay on the ground. The father complied, and he was taken into custody without incident.
A weapon was retrieved from the vehicle, but the sheriff would not comment further.
The Sons of the American Legion Post 373 in Delta is hosting a benefit dinner today for the Mangas family.
“The minute we heard of the tragedy we decided to make the Mangas family benefit,” said member Todd Bonfert. “I’ve known Mike since the get-go. We’ve been friends for a long time.”
Mr. Bonfert said the benefit will raise money to help cover funeral costs for Ms. Mangas and help with care for Winston. Mr. Mangas is a charter member of the Legion’s Delta post.
Tickets are $10 per person for the dinner, but there also will be a gun raffle and an auction. Various organizations across the region have donated items and gift cards to auction, Mr. Bonfert said.
“Communities are just coming together,” he said.
The benefit is 5-11 p.m. at the Delta Post, 5939 State Rt. 109. For more information, call Mr. Bonfert at 419-481-3463.
Staff writers Ryan Dunn and Sarah Elms contributed to this report.
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