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Queens Chronicle

Girls died because ‘I didn’t have car seats’

Father arraigned for first-degree murder; Brown vows no plea deal

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Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 12:13 pm | Updated: 11:23 am, Thu Feb 6, 2014.

First he said his deceased wife stabbed his children to death.

Then he said he killed his two tiny daughters  — one while she was sleeping — because he did not have child car seats to take them with him after he killed their mother, stabbing her over and over until one of two knives broke.

Queens prosecutors said Friday those were just two of the statements allegedly made to police that they intend to introduce to grand jury next week when they seek to indict Miguel Mejia-Ramos for murder.

Mejia-Ramos, 28, was arraigned Friday on charges that include six counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder and weapons charges for the stabbing deaths of his wife, Deisy Garcia, 21, and their daughters Daniela, 2, and Yoselin, 1.

He faces life with no hope of parole if convicted. Speaking in his office prior to the arraignment, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown also said Mejia-Ramos, a Mexican national, is believed to be in the country illegally, and that there is an immigration hold on him.

“But that has no bearing on this case,” Brown said. “I’m seeking to put him in prison for life .”

Brown said he met with members of Garcia’s family early Friday morning along with the Guatemalan Counsel General.

“I assured them that this case will be vigorously prosecuted, and there will be no plea bargaining,” he said.

Several members of Garcia’s family wept openly during Friday’s court proceedings.

“As I said the other day, I’ve been to a lot of crime scenes in my 23 years as district attorney,” Brown said. “This one was very disturbing.”

Nearly two dozen police officers were in the courtroom as a handcuffed Mejia-Ramos was brought in, including a solid wall of blue uniforms between him and the gallery.

 Queens Criminal Court Judge Ernest Hart ordered him held without bail. He also ordered him placed in protective custody and on a suicide watch at the request of defense attorney Michael Anastasaiou.

Authorities believe that Mejia-Ramos killed all three the night of Jan. 18-19 after he had been drinking.

After he returned to their apartment on Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, he allegedly found pictures of Garcia on her phone and Facebook account with another man.

He allegedly told investigators that Garcia was preparing for a separation.

Brown in his press conference and Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaszuba in court said he presented numerous accounts of what happened to police while he was being held in he custody of the Fayette County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department.

Kaszuba said version 1 had Garcia killing their daughters while he was away drinking beer at a friend’s home.

“He observed that the two girls were stabbed and dead and that Deisy was the initial aggressor who had the knife,”  Kaszuba said. “He also claimed that he stabbed Deisy because she killed the children.”

She alleged that he subsequently told two detectives that upon seeing a picture of Garcia with another man on her phone he “just snapped” and grabbed a knife from a nearby butcher block.

The girls also were stabbed repeatedly. The NYPD believes at least five knives were used in the attacks.

Mejia-Ramos claimed that he initially tried to kill himself by first stabbing himself in the chest and than hanging himself, but could not. His lawyer got an order for him to receive medical treatment for numerous cuts on his body.

He then took $240 in cash from Garcia’s diaper bag, allegedly telling police he had seen episodes of the cable television show “I Almost Got Away With It,” and knew that he would need cash for his escape so that his credit card could not be traced.

The episodes he saw, however, apparently did not make him think to stay off his cell phone, which the NYPD and U.S. marshals had been tracing when they alerted Texas State Police officials that he was coming. 

He made it to Schulenberg, Tex., about halfway between Houston and San Antonio, when a state trooper spotted a van described by the NYPD on Interstate 10.

He was taken into custody a short time later by a group of state troopers, U.S. marshals, and local police and sheriff’s officers.

Anastasaiou said he would like reserve bail arguments for a future date, though Senior Assistant District Attorney Denise Tirino said the state would fight any bail motion vigorously.

“He drove 1,700 miles and we believe he was on his way to Mexico,” she said. “If it were not for the quick work of the police, he would have been successful.”

Kaszuba also related a conversation that Mejia-Ramos allegedly engaged in Thursday afternoon on the flight back to New York with NYPD Detective Patrick Agugliaro.

“What are you thinking about?” Agugliaro asked.

“God and jail.”

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