Court upholds sentence in 2004 Westminster home invasion

The Carroll County Circuit Court recently upheld a 95-year sentence for Edinson Ramirez, who was convicted in July 2005 for his role in a 2004 Westminster home invasion and shooting of an area landscaper for whom he once worked.

Ramirez, now 49, was sentenced on Nov. 17, 2005 to consecutive sentences totaling 95 years and ordered to pay restitution of $78,427.

A three-member panel, including judges Michael Galloway, J. Barry Hughes, and Luke Burns Jr., reviewed the sentence and filed their decision Jan. 9.

Ramirez, of Westminster, has been serving his sentence at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, but requested that the court amend his sentence, arguing that prior to his conviction, he had a relatively minor criminal record, according to court documents.

He also indicated that he is of relatively young age and argued that the court did not treat all of the defendants in the crime equally, court records state.

According to court documents, in October 2004, Ramirez and Jerry Burkett broke into the home of Linda and Rodney Hidey, threatening to kill them and their 7-year-old daughter until they opened a safe inside the home, which contained about $80,000 in cash.

Rodney Hidey, who once employed Ramirez, was beaten and shot in the leg during the ordeal.

Ramirez and Burkett tied up the family before they left the home, according to court documents. Hidey was able to free himself and then call police.

The case remained unsolved until January 2005 when Naomi Ruth Burkett, Burkett's wife, told police that her husband and Ramirez had committed the armed robbery with her assistance.

Burkett told police that she helped plan the robbery and drove the pair's vehicle the night of the robbery.

Naomi Burkett received an 18-month sentence for her involvement, while her husband received a 30-year sentence, and 25 of those years without parole.

The three-member panel of judges concluded that Ramirez committed violent crimes that "surely continue to impact lives," according to court documents.

The court learned in August 2013 that the defendant only knew the safe was in the house because Hidey employed Ramirez to help him build the home and set the safe in the basement floor, court documents state.

The court found that Ramirez's intimate knowledge of the Hidey home made the crime "even more heinous," according to court documents.

Following a jury trial from July 11 to July 15, 2005, Ramirez was convicted on multiple counts, including two counts of armed robbery, two counts of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, two counts of first degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, felony, theft, first degree burglary, and possession of an unregistered rifle or shotgun.

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