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In a soft voice barely audible in the quiet Lucas County Common Pleas courtroom, Youssef Ramadan told a judge how he stabbed his wife and beat her with a hammer, causing her brutal death.
"Do you admit that the cause of her death was you stabbing her with a knife?" Judge Frederick McDonald said.
"Yes," Ramadan, 45, replied.
He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years for murdering his wife, Mirvat Ramadan, 40, more than a year ago.
He was also sentenced to serve eight years for felonious assault for beating his son, Mohamad, who was 14 at the time and apparently trying to stop the attack.
As part of the negotiated plea agreement, Judge McDonald ordered that the sentences be served concurrently.
Ramadan was arrested Sept. 26, 2007, after eluding authorities for hours. Toledo police said he beat and fatally stabbed his wife and used a large hammer to bludgeon his son.
Mrs. Ramadan died at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where she was taken after the stabbing.
The teenager suffered a broken jaw, a laceration to the face, and bruises. His younger sister was not home because she had left for school about 30 minutes before the attack, police said.
The children, now ages 13 and 15, are in the custody of a caregiver. They were not in the courtroom yesterday.
County Assistant Prosecutor Rob Miller said that the negotiated plea - which included the dismissal of alternate charges of murder, attempted murder, and felonious assault - was the result of evidentiary issues as well as legal issues related to Ramadan's mental health.
He said the agreement would allow "full and final closure for the children and for the caregivers of the children."
Ramadan was declared incompetent to stand trial in November, 2007, and was committed to the Toledo campus of the Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare System to undergo treatment. Last month, Judge McDonald declared Ramadan able to assist in his own defense, based on an 11-page report from the facility.
Defense attorney Jon Richardson said therapy and psychotropic medications assisted Ramadan in being restored to competency. Yesterday, Mr. Richardson said his client was "depressed, but prepared to accept his punishment."
The negotiated agreement meant Judge McDonald did not order a presentence investigation report to assist him in determining a sentence. He did order a post-plea report so the parole board would be familiar with the facts of the case and Ramadan's history when he is first eligible for release in 2022.
Ramadan receives credit for the time he served in the mental health facility.
Nearly two dozen of Ramadan's family and friends crowded the courtroom, where some began crying after hearing him accept his guilt.
Mr. Richardson said the family would have no comment.
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