National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 10 through 16. This year’s theme - Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. - emphasizes the importance of providing services to victims as early as possible, establishing trust among all victims of crime, and restoring their hope for healing and recovery.
This is a time for communities across the country to bring attention to the devastating impact crime has on its victims. It is also a time to show appreciation for the brave victims and witnesses who overcame fear, shame, guilt and indifference to gain a voice and fight for justice.
In recognition of victims’ rights week, District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert will honor five victims and witnesses who have shown uncommon courage by participating in the criminal justice process under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. Please join us in recognizing this year’s recipients:
Outstanding Citizen Awards Ceremony
Friday, April 15, 2016 ~ 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Board of Supervisors’ Chambers -700 H Street, Sacramento
“Jane Doe” was just 7 years old when she went shopping with her mother and two younger siblings in May 2013. She was unaware that defendant Cedric Holland, whom she did not know, was following her for hours that day. When Jane began to walk home with her mom and siblings, the defendant snatched her and threw her into the trunk of his car. While in the trunk, Jane had the wherewithal to stay calm and look around at her surroundings. She saw an emergency handle glowing in the dark and yanked on it, which popped the trunk open. The defendant immediately slammed on the brakes. Jane rolled out of the trunk onto the ground, and screamed “He stole me!” as she ran to a man who was standing in his front yard. The defendant left the scene. Jane cooperated with law enforcement and the justice system every step of the way. She was able to provide an accurate statement of what happened, including that the defendant spoke to her in one of the stores. This led to the detective obtaining surveillance footage, which corroborated DNA evidence found at the scene establishing the defendant’s identity. It also revealed the defendant had followed Jane throughout the day. Jane bravely testified during trial, only expressing apprehension to her mother about the defendant being in the courtroom. Thanks to Jane’s quick thinking and courageous actions, she helped hold a dangerous individual responsible for the crimes he committed, and made our community a safer place. The defendant was also charged for molesting two boys for two years, starting in 2011 when they were just 6 and 7 years old. He also had a prior 2005 conviction for committing a lewd act with a child under 14. Cedric Holland was convicted of 8 counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 years old, 3 counts of oral copulation with a child 10 years old or under, showing a minor harmful material, kidnapping, kidnapping with the intent to commit a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 14 years old, and a multiple victim enhancement. He was sentenced to 495 years to life plus 7 years in prison.
Jazmine Ramzy shared an apartment with Zachary Kane and two other roommates. The four roommates got along exceptionally well and considered each other family. Jazmine’s brother, defendant Aaron Ramzy, asked if he could stay with her because he was unemployed and homeless at the time. Jazmine and her roommates readily agreed. For the next few months, the five roommates lived together with no apparent problems. They shared chores and food, and had weekly game nights. In February 2015, the defendant came out of his bedroom and walked directly up to Zachary, who was sitting in a recliner with his back to the defendant. Without warning, the defendant began stabbing Zachary. Others in the room first thought the defendant was play fighting, but quickly realized what was happening. They began yelling at the defendant to stop. The defendant backed away, walked to his room, and then fled the apartment. Zachary died from the more than 18 stab wounds he suffered in the attack. At trial, the defendant testified that in the two months he lived at the apartment, Zachary repeatedly made racist comments to and about him, bullied him, and threatened him. He testified that everyone else in the apartment saw and heard at least some of that abuse. Jazmine remained a good sister to the defendant in that she continued to visit him and support him to the extent she could, but she did not sacrifice her integrity for him. Knowing her brother faced life in prison if convicted, Jazmine testified in rebuttal about Zachary’s good character and disputed the allegations of racism and bullying. While she was visibly anguished about testifying against her brother, she exhibited extraordinary character by testifying eloquently and firmly about what a fine young man Zachary Kane was, preserving his reputation and memory. Aaron Ramzy was convicted of first-degree murder with a personal use of a weapon allegation. He was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison.
Kaitlyn’s mother intended to text a picture of Kaitlyn’s 8-year-old sister to her, but she accidently sent it to a wrong number. The receiver of the picture was defendant Jason Wymer. The defendant responded to her text, asking for her name and what she liked to do for fun. Her mother tried to end further correspondence by responding she was 8 years old. The defendant sent a photo of himself and gave her his first name. In an effort to continue the communication, the defendant then requested additional photos and asked more personal questions. When Kaitlyn learned of the text exchanges, she directed her mother to contact FBI Special Agent Scott Schofield, who did a presentation on cybercrime at her middle school just the day prior. Special Agent Schofield posed as an 8-year-old girl named “Hannah” and engaged the defendant in a series of text messages. The text messages from the defendant to Hannah became increasingly sexual. After a few months of communication, a search warrant was obtained and executed at the defendant’s house. The search revealed thousands of images and videos of child pornography, including images of the defendant molesting a 3 and 5-year-old girl. Kaitlyn’s astute ability to act on the information she learned from the FBI’s cybercrimes presentation unveiled this vicious child sexual predator. Thanks to Kaitlyn’s immediate recognition of warning signs in the defendant’s texts and informing her mother who to call, the investigation into this case was launched. Jason Wymer was convicted of multiple sexual assault and exploitation charges. He was sentenced to 100 years to life plus 9 years, 8 months in prison.
Crystal Carrell was dealt a rough hand from an early age. Due to family problems, Crystal spent her childhood in and out of foster homes. As a young woman, she started using drugs and committing thefts. From 2012 to 2013, Crystal dated defendant James Coker. The defendant severely beat Crystal using a claw hammer and baseball bat. He punched and kicked her, put a cigarette out on her face, burned her with a butane lighter, and cut her with a knife. Crystal still bears scars and injuries from the beatings. She never sought help because she was afraid of the defendant, and because of her own drug and theft offenses. When detectives learned of the abuse, Crystal fought through her fear and told them about the beatings. Days before trial began, she checked herself into a mental health facility. She was mentally and emotionally falling apart at the thought of having to testify against the defendant. Still, Crystal showed up for trial and testified. Her testimony helped convict the defendant, who has a long history of beating women. Shortly after trial, Crystal found out she was pregnant and she decided to change the trajectory of her life. She checked herself into a drug rehabilitation center and successfully completed the program. She gave birth to a healthy, drug-free baby and has remained clean and sober. Despite her fear and personal challenges, Crystal found the courage to testify against the defendant and face her own bad choices in life. Defying the odds, Crystal has taken tremendous steps to turn her life around and forge a new path to give her baby the childhood she herself never had. James Coker was convicted of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic abuse inflicting great bodily injury, and making a criminal threat with the use of a knife. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Mary Diaz was 68 years old when she was physically assaulted by two of her adult sons in 2014. Mary had suffered a stroke the previous year, which resulted in paralysis of the right side of her body, tremors in her arms, and vision problems. She requires the use of a wheelchair for mobility. In February 2014, Mary was preparing food when her son, defendant Christopher Diaz, became angry and beat her. He punched her numerous times in the face and chest, pulled her hair, dumped her out of her wheelchair, and choked her. Family members had to pull him off of Mary to stop the attack. In July 2014, Mary was at home with her other two adult sons, Eric Diaz and defendant Michael Diaz. Eric is mentally impaired and requires in-home care services. Michael became angry with Mary because she was not preparing the food he wanted. He jerked Mary’s wheelchair, causing her to fall on the kitchen ceramic tile floor. Mary landed flat on her back and was unable to lift herself. As she screamed for help, Michael screamed over her to prevent anyone from hearing her. He grabbed Mary’s hair and smashed her head against the floor. When Eric went to help Mary, Michael struck Eric in the back of the head with a blunt object. Eric was able to get Mary into her wheelchair and moved her to her bedroom. Eric then left the house and went to a neighbor’s house for help. Mary exemplified extraordinary courage by testifying against two of her own sons. She was clearly emotionally torn knowing her testimony would likely lead to both of her sons going to prison. She broke down crying when seeing them in court. Nonetheless, she came forward and told the truth about what had happened and saw that justice was served. Christopher Diaz was convicted of elder abuse and admitted to a prior strike conviction. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison. Michael Diaz was convicted of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
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