Florida Teen Pleads Guilty to Strangling His Mom to Death Over Grades

Gregory Ramos, Gail Cleavenger

Volusia County Sheriff\'s Office/ Facbook 17-year-old Gregory Ramos plead guilty to strangling his mom, Gail Cleavenger, in 2018.

Two years after police accused now 17-year-old Gregory Ramos of murdering his mother by strangulation when he was only 15, the baby-faced teen has agreed to a plea deal according to WESH News.

In exchange for the guilty plea to first-degree murder, abuse of a dead body, and tampering with evidence, Ramos’ prison term will not exceed up to 45 years in prison, WESH reported.

But according to the original arrest affidavit by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the DeBary boy had already confessed to investigators that he strangled his mother, Gail Cleavenger, to death on November 1, 2018, after the two had an argument about Ramos getting a D in school.

Ramos Told Police He Strangled His Mother For About a Half-Hour Before She Finally Died

Gregory Ramos, Gail Cleavenger

FacebookPhoto of Gail Cleavenger and her son, Gregory Ramos, posted on November 17, 2015 on Gail Cleavenger’s Facebook page.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff Arrest report, Ramos told them that he and Cleavenger argued at around 8:45 p.m. that night about his grades, and according to Ramos, his mother hit “him in the face.” He went to his room for a while, he told deputies, but then went to his mother’s room at midnight and the mother and son argued more.

That’s when, according to the arrest affidavit, Ramos started strangling Cleavenger. The affidavit said:

As the argument was taking place, Gregory began to strangle Gail with his hands and forced her from the bed onto an area of the floor/wall. Gregory advised he believed it took him nearly 30 minutes, and after initially strangling her, he got up to get a wheelbarrow to put her in. Upon returning back to the bedroom, Gail was still alive and moving on the floor, so Gregory “jumped” on top of her and strangled her until he was sure she was dead. Gregory stated he did it because he believed his mother would eventually kill him some time in the future and justified killing her as some form of self-defense.

From there deputies say Ramos put his mother’s body in a wheelbarrow and placed her in her own van. Before heading to a nearby church to bury his mother under a firepit, he started to stage the house to look like a burglary and took some items from the home to throw in the woods near where he buried Cleavenger.

Then, Ramos told investigators he went back home to get ready for school.

Gregory Had 2 Friends Help Stage His Home to Look Like a Robbery Had Happened Before Calling 911

According to Ramos’ arrest report, he enlisted the help of two friends that day at school to help make his house look like a robbery had taken place. Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, both 17 at the time of the crime, told police Ramos said he’d killed his mother and asked them to help him try to make the house look like a robbery took place.

Porras and Ceglarek told police they helped Ramos, per the arrest report, and were charged with being an accessory after the fact. Their cases are still ongoing according to court records.

A 911 call and video of the ransacked home were shared publicly by Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, in which Ramos claims he came home and found the house in disarray and could not find his mom. In the 911 call, the teen sounds upset with a trembling voice as he claims he doesn’t know where his mother could be.

Besides a possible 45-year prison sentence, The Associated Press reported Ramos’ “defense attorney says the agreement also calls for Ramos to be sentenced to lifetime probation. But he can seek early termination of that probation after 10 years.”

Ramos is scheduled for sentencing in January.

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