Deputies say they fatally shot man with knife at wife's throat

The man shot and killed by officers this morning was free on bond pending trial on murder charges.


Terry Ramsey, 41, was shot and killed by Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies during a domestic dispute at a home in the Harrisburg neighborhood this morning. Officers found Mr. Ramsey holding a knife to his wife, Tameka Ramsey, according to the press release. When Mr. Ramsey refused to drop the knife the deputies fired on him, the release states.

Mr. Ramsey was charged with murder for the August 2008 shooting death of Richard Paprocki at Mr. Ramsey’s Gordon Highway home.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Nicastro said this morning that according to the prosecutor’s file on the case, former Superior Court Judge Duncan Wheale set a $50,000 bond for Mr. Ramsey on the condition he lived with his mother and have no contact with witnesses.

Mr. Ramsey, 41, of the 2000 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard, was pronounced dead at the Medical College of Georgia at 4:49 a.m., according to a Richmond County Coroner’s Office press release.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength identified the deputies who fired the shots as Chadwick Plueger and Sylvester Rosier. He said both were veteran officers.

The deputies arrived at the home after the couple’s 14-year-old son called 911 and said his father was trying to stab his mother. When deputies arrived at the home, located at 814 Metcalf Street, they heard screams for help coming from inside. They forced their way into the home and found Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey sitting on the couch. Mr. Ramsey was holding a knife to his wife’s throat. Sheriff Strength said two deputies told him to drop the knife and when he refused, they both fired. Mr. Ramsey was hit by two bullets, one in his chest and one in his side. He said the couple's two children were home during the incident.

“In the house was the 14-year-old son that called us and an 8-year-old daughter,” Sheriff Strength said.

He also said there was an indication Mr. Ramsey had been drinking.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the incident, which is the sheriff department’s policy during shooting incidents. An autopsy has been scheduled for this morning at the GBI crime lab in Augusta.


Man charged in fatal shooting


February 2005

Reckless conduct for firing .40-caliber handgun near his wife.

December 2005

Terroristic threats for threatening a sheriff's investigator with a gun

December 2006

DUI Sentencing: One day in jail, 12 months' probation, fined $651 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and attend a risk-reduction program.

Indictment Dec. 2 2008

Malice murder, felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime


Although it's uncommon for someone facing murder charges to be free on bond, in some circumstances judges have set bond.

Attorney Gregory Leopard represented Mr. Ramsey at his August 2008 bond hearing in Richmond County Superior Court. Mr. Ramsey had a very strong case of self-defense, and Mr. Leopard said he was surprised that the prosecutor sought an indictment.

Mr. Ramsey’s account was corroborated by witnesses present at Mr. Ramsey’s Gordon Highway home the night of the fatal shooting, Mr. Leopard said.

Mr. Ramsey, who had just had half his thyroid removed because of cancer, shot in self-defense when Mr. Paprocki charged at him, Mr. Leopard said. Mr. Paqprocki had already hit other people present before he charged at Mr. Ramsey, his attorney said.

Mr. Leopard also represented Mr. Ramsey in a child custody case involving his wife. According to Richmond County Superior Court records, Mr. Ramsey filed for divorce in April 2008 after his wife moved out of their home. He was granted visitation with the couple’s two children.

Mr. Leopard said Mr. Ramsey didn’t press the case because he was dealing with so much between the cancer and the murder charge.

Three years earlier, Mrs. Ramsey had filed for divorce alleging Mr. Ramsey had a history of verbal and physical abuse in front of the their children. The petition noted Mr. Ramsey had been arrested for firing a gun inside their home in February 2005.

In the first divorce petition, the couple was ordered to take part in mediation. The case was dismissed in December 2007.

-- Sandy Hodson



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