Gover­nor signs ex­e­cu­tion or­der in Bucks County murder

The Advance of Bucks County - - COMMUNITY - By Carl Hessler Jr.

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-


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