A district judge had a woman jailed Tuesday after she declared she would not return to court the next day to testify against a former boyfriend who is accused of firing 20 rounds at her while he stood naked in a Waco street.
The trial of Gary Lynn Ramsey Jr. got off to a rocky start Tuesday before jury selection even began as Judge Ralph Strother swore in a number of state witnesses. Ramsey’s former girlfriend, Eaerricka Washington, the victim in the 2018 shooting incident, became agitated in court and told Strother she would not return Wednesday to honor her subpoena and testify against Ramsey.
Strother ordered Washington taken into custody and jailed, and she became more combative as deputies moved in to handcuff her hands behind her back. After they left the courtroom, deputies reported to the judge that Washington slammed her head onto a table in a holding area and required two stitches on her forehead.
Washington is not charged with a crime but will be held until she takes the stand, fulfilling her subpoena.
Ramsey, 35, is on trial in Waco’s 19th State District Court, charged as a habitual offender with deadly conduct and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Ramsey, who has two previous felony convictions for aggravated assault and one for credit card abuse, faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and up to life on each count if convicted.
In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors said Ramsey was high on the synthetic drug K2 on Sept. 30, 2018, when he fired the shots at Washington, who told him she was leaving him. She was not injured in the shooting.
Assistant District Attorney Kristin Kaye, who is prosecuting Ramsey with Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Clark, told jurors Ramsey made Washington think he loved her while he lived in her apartment for free without a job and used her phone, body and heart.
“He said I love you with a bullet,” Kaye said. “He fired 20 rounds or more at the back of her car as she fled for her life, but he made her think it was love.”
At the time of the incident, Ramsey and Washington were living at the Creole Apartments, 6701 May Drive, Kaye said. Ramsey got sick after smoking K2, a form of synthetic marijuana, and began “freaking out,” throwing up, yelling and pounding his fist against the walls, Kaye said.
A frightened Washington asked a neighbor to help her get Ramsey into the shower, but Ramsey started throwing punches at them and the neighbor left, Kaye said.
Washington told Ramsey she was done with him and was leaving, prosecutors said. Ramsey threw a heavy candle at her and said he was getting his gun, Kaye told the jury.
Ramsey, who was naked, followed her outside and peppered her car with at least a dozen shots as she was driving away, Kaye said. Shots hit her tire, shattered the back window and pierced the passenger-side headrest. Also, one of Ramsey’s bullets broke a window at a home down the street, Kaye told jurors. Police found at least 20 spent shell casings after the incident.
Washington drove until her car stopped, and she walked to the safety of her grandmother’s house, she said. Ramsey told police the incident was caused by a “drug deal gone bad,” Kaye said. He told investigators that a man tried to rob him, pulled out a gun and made him strip off his clothes. He told police the same man shot up Washington’s car.
Ramsey’s attorney, Sandy Gately, deferred her opening statement.
Prosecution testimony will resume Wednesday morning.