CRIME

Joaquin Rams in court on charges he murdered his son

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The Manassas father who stands accused of murdering his 15-month-old son will have his case go to a grand jury this May, a judge ruled Monday.

Prince McLeod Rams drowned while on an unsupervised visit with his father last year. Photo: Associated Press

Joaquin Rams is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection to the drowning death of his son, Prince McLeod Rams, last October during an unsupervised visit. He was arrested and charged with the crime in late January.

On Monday, a judge found probable cause to try Rams.

At the time of his death, Prince was on a a court-ordered, unsupervised visit with his father. The visitations were fought unsuccessfully by the boy's mother, who worried that the young boy would be in danger.

“This monster,” Hera McLeod says. “I almost don’t really look at him as human… in fact, he’s pretty pathetic.”

Authorities and prosecutors believe Rams intentionally drowned his son to collect a life insurance policy he had taken out against Prince.

“I can’t imagine anyone looking at these facts and thinking this man is innocent,” she says.

Prince suffered from febrile seizures, which are not fatal, according to a doctor who testified, and not relevant to the drowning, according to the medical examiner. But the defense has a different opinion.

“In the end, any trial will determine this man didn’t kill his son and this child was very sick and we believe he died as a result of the complications of his illness," defense attorney Timothy Olmstead says.

McLeod claimed that Rams' connections with previous violent crimes made him unfit for unsupervised visitation with Prince.

In addition to the criminal charges, McLeod sued a Virginia psychological office for $20 million, claiming that one of its doctors was negligent in her evaluation of Rams.

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