WOODWARD — Arturo Dejesus Ramirez Jr. pleaded guilty Tuesday to shooting Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Austin Ellis last year.
Ramirez pleaded guilty to three felonies: shooting with intent to kill, possession of a firearm while on felony probation and eluding and endangering another. He also pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors: unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a revoked license, breaking and entering, transporting an open container of liquor, and possession of controlled dangerous substance.
Woodward County District Judge Justin Eilers set a sentencing hearing for 1 p.m. Oct. 24. District Attorney Christopher M. Boring asked that a pre-sentencing investigation be completed by Oct. 11.
Ramirez was set for a jury trial to begin Sept. 3, but at a motion docket hearing last Aug. 15, he announced his decision to enter a blind plea. He faces up to life in prison.
Ramirez has been in jail since the shooting.
Ellis suffered a fractured rib and other injuries. The round that hit him was stopped by his bulletproof vest. He was treated at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
While on patrol in Woodward early in the morning of Aug. 26, 2018, Ellis observed a man later identified as Ramirez not wearing a seat belt. He activated his emergency lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but Ramirez failed to yield, increasing speed and running traffic signals, according to the affidavit filed with the original charges.
In the parking lot of Days Inn at 1212 U.S. Highway 183, multiple shots were fired, and Ellis was struck in the abdomen. Returning fire, he struck Ramirez, who fled the scene. Ellis pursued Ramirez to Western Avenue, where Ramirez fled on foot and entered a residential property without permission, according to the affidavit.
OHP troopers apprehended Ramirez later that morning in the Kwick Rentals parking lot at 502 Northwest U.S. 270. Transported for medical care, Ramirez was treated for injuries sustained in the shooting, according to the affidavit.
Ramirez has a previous felony conviction from 2015 for assaulting an emergency medical technician. He pleaded guilty and received a deferred sentence, according to court records.
Fogleman writes for the Woodward News.