Florida Prosecutors Want Death Penalty For Two USVI Men Accused Of Murdering Dentist
MIAMI — Hialeah prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for two U.S. Virgin Islands men charged in the fatal shooting of a Florida dentist.
A Hialeah District Court grand jury indicted Ralph Benjamin, 39, and Hector Ledesma, 34, on first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Each man pleaded not guilty in a Florida courtroom on Friday.
According to a Hialeah police report, Benjamin shot 59-year-old Carmen Ramirez multiple times on the stairwell leading to her dental office in Hialeah, Florida in November. She died exactly one month from the date she was shot.
An investigation determined that Ledesma is the brother of Jose Ledesma, who is facing three to five years in prison if convicted of identity theft. The victim in that 2015 case was Ramirez, who was set to testify in his trial.
Police said Ledesma defrauded Ramirez out of more than $40,000.
Investigators determined that Benjamin and Ledesma purchased one-way tickets to the U.S. Virgin Islands where they live, the day after the shooting.
Benjamin and Ledesma were arrested as they prepared to board a plane at Miami International Airport.