Governor signs execution order in Bucks County murder
NORRISTOWN –A Philadelphia man serving a life prison sentence for fatally shooting a Stowe mother of three during a January 2007 home invasion robbery faces an October execution date in connection with another murder in Bucks County.
David R. Ramtahal, 28, formerly of Chester Avenue, is set to die by lethal injection on Oct. 11, according to an execution warrant signed last week by Gov. Tom Corbett. It was the 19th execution warrant signed by Corbett, according to the governRr’s RIficH.
Ramtahal, currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, was sentenced to death in Bucks County Court in May 2009 after KH wDs cRnYLcWHG RI firsWdegree murder in connection with the Nov. 15, 2006, shooting death of 18-year-old Jarrett Osborne of Bristol Township. As Osborne ran to escape an attempted armed robbHry, 5DPWDKDO firHG D shot, wounding Osborne, who later died in a hospital emergency room, according to authorities.
While Osborne’s killing was still under investigation, Ramtahal was in Stowe with several others and participated in the 8 p.m. Jan. 25, 2007, shooting in Stowe that claimed the life of 39-year-old Glasgow Street homeowner helly Carter-Hernandez. In January 2008, Ramtahal, then 23, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges RI firsW-GHJrHH PurGHr, robbery, conspiracy, possessing an instrument of crime and unsworn falsi- ficDWLRn Ln cRnnHcWLRn wLWK Carter-Hernandez’s death and was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Prosecutor Samantha Cauffman alleged the barrel of Ramtahal’s .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was equipped with a laser sight, was pressed against CarterHernandez’s neck at the WLPH WKH sKRW wDs firHG.
Ramtahal’s guilty plea came shortly before he was to stand trial with two co-defendants, Nyako Odell Pippen and Melvin Richardson Jr.
In January 2008, a jury convicted Pippen, then 20, of the 400 block of North vork Street, Pottstown, and Richardson, then 20, of Levittown, Bucks County, of charges of seconddegree murder, robbery and conspiracy. In March 2008, Pippen and Richardson each was sentenced to life imprisonment plus an additional 10- to 20-years in prison for their roles in the deadly botched robbery that claimed the life of the mother of three.
Pippen was accused of concocting the plan for the Stowe home invasion and Richardson was accused of helping to carry out the plan.
Three other people also pleaded guilty to thirddegree murder in connection with their roles in the home invasion and are serving various state prison sentences.
Authorities alleged Ramtahal shot CarterHernandez during a struggle. An autopsy determined Carter-Hernandez, a mother of one son and two daughters, died from a single gunshot wound to her neck.
Pippen later turned his back on Ramtahal, testi- fiHG bHIRrH D BucNs CRunty grand jury and placed Ramtahal at the scene of Osborne’s fatal shooting, according to a grand jury presentment.
Pippen told the investigative grand jury that he was with Ramtahal in Bristol on Nov. 15, 2006, when Ramtahal shot at Osborne during an attempted robbery on a street corner. Bucks County authorities said Osborne died from a single gunshot wound to the buttocks that caused massive internal injuries.
Ramtahal had armed himself with a heltec 9mm semiautomatic handgun during that crime, according to Pippen’s testimony.
As Osborne and his two friends ran away, Pippen allegedly turned and ran back towards Ramtahal’s car. Pippen claimed Ramtahal ran past him and towDrGs WKH flHHLnJ JrRuS RI men, according to court documents. Ramtahal had his gun out, pointed in the direction of the group, according to Pippen’s testimony.
Pippen claimed he then heard a single gunshot as he continued to run to Ramtahal’s car.
According to Pippen, Ramtahal told him that he firHG WKH sKRW LnWR WKH DLr, the presentment alleged.
During his grand jury testimony, Pippen identifiHG D .HOWHc 9PP sHPLautomatic handgun found at the scene of the deadly January 2007 home invasion in Stowe as the same handgun used by Ramtahal during the Bristol attempted robbery and shooting, according to court papers. Ramtahal, authorities alleged, had provided the heltec handgun to a man who assisted Ramtahal during the Stowe home invasion.
Bucks detectives also recovered a 9mm shell casing at the Bristol murder scene.
Ballistics tests later determined that the shell cDsLnJ wDs firHG IrRP WKH same heltec semiautomatic handgun that was later recovered by Montgomery County authorities during their investigation into the shooting death of CarterHernandez.
Testing of the heltec handgun revealed it contained Ramtahal’s DNA, authorities alleged. A projectile removed from 2sbRrnH’s bRGy wDs firHG from the heltec 9mm handgun owned by Ramtahal and tied to the Stowe home invasion, court documents alleged.
Pippen subsequently pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in connection with Osborne’s death and was sentenced to 12-to-24 years in state prison, according to authorities.
Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @Montco-