Manassas, VA - Joaquin Rams was convicted on Thursday in the murder of his one-year-son Prince McLeod Rams. The reason for the child's murder: a $500,000 life insurance policy.
According to ABC10 News, Judge Randy Bellows reached the decision after Rams' murder trial. Prosecutors agreed to waive the death penalty in exchange for Rams waiving his right to a jury trial.
Prosecutors said that a seizure is not the reason that Prince died and that he was either drowned or suffocated. They also said that the kind of seizures that Prince had were not fatal.
Although Rams was only on trial for his son, the deaths of two other people in his life were suspicious in their own right.
Prosecutors were barred from presenting evidence about the deaths of his ex-girlfriend Shawn Mason, and his mother Alma Collins. His mother died in 2008, with her death ruled a suicide.
Life insurance was involved in all three deaths. Rams collected more than $150,000 after his mother's death, and he tried to collect on a policy in Mason's death but was denied.
Prince's mother, Hera McLeod, fled from the relationship with Rams when the baby was just two weeks old. McLeod begged a judge not to allow Rams unsupervised visits with their son, but the judge ordered them anyway.
"Either he's the most unlucky bastard on this planet, or he's a killer," McLeod said.
Rams claims that Prince died after a fever-induced seizure during the fourth visit that Rams had without supervision.
Prosecutors said that he came up with a plan to murder Prince after he began running out of money from his mother's death. He took out three separate policies on his son worth more than $500,000. There's no explanation for why three different insurance companies didn't find it suspicious to take out $500,000 life insurance policies on a 1-year-old.
Medical experts agreed with prosecutors and said that fever-inducted seizures, which are common in children that are Prince's age, are not fatal. One medical examiner ruled Prince's death to be the result of drowning but a different medical examiner disagreed and said that it was undetermined.
Joaquin Rams will be sentenced to life in prison.
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