Virginia Father Convicted of Killing Infant Son for Life Insurance Money

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According to CBS News, Joaquin Shadow Rams planned to kill his infant son from about the time he was born before ultimately ending his life at just 15 months, a judge in Virginia ruled.

Rams was convicted of capital murder in the 2012 death of Prince McLeod Rams and will be sentenced to life in prison.

The judge's ruling marks the end of almost a five-year legal showdown in which Rams claimed he was unfairly accused and that his son died from a fever-induced seizure. Witnesses gave conflicting medical testimony about the possibility that the young boy passed away from natural causes.

In a ruling, Judge Bellows dismissed the idea that Prince died a natural death before ultimately concluding that Rams planned to murder his son, since he took out life insurance policies for more than $500,000 in September 2011, when Prince was just 2 months old.

In the summer of 2012, a civil judge granted unsupervised visits to Rams over the worries of the boy's mother, Hera McLeod, who feared for her son's safety. A few months later, Rams discovered that his son was suffering from fever-induced seizures, which allegedly created the ultimate justification for his death.

In October, during Rams' fourth supervised visit, he called emergency responders and claimed his son had a seizure and stopped breathing. Prince was declared dead the next day.

The young boy's death fits an abnormal, suspicious pattern of death that has come to those close to Rams. 

His ex-girlfriend was shot and killed in 2003 and his mother died in 2008 in what police initially ruled as a suicide. In his ex's death, Rams tried to collect on a life insurance policy. In his mother's death, he collected money upwards of $150,000.

Rams is a suspect in both cases.


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Olivia Rowe |

Olivia hails from small town Pennsylvania and is appropriately obsessed with summer thunderstorms and wintry Christmases. She is fluent in sarcasm and television dialogue and can often be heard singing the praises of her lady heroes, Taylor Swift and Mariska Hargitay.