published Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Suspect in Las Vegas crime spree describes mayhem

A Las Vegas police mobile command center arrives at the scene of a home invasion and shooting in Las Vegas on July 29, 2014.
A Las Vegas police mobile command center arrives at the scene of a home invasion and shooting in Las Vegas on July 29, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LAS VEGAS — A woman accused in a Las Vegas crime spree described to police how she stabbed a woman with a screwdriver during a violent string of mayhem that ended in the death of her partner and a homeowner.

Natasha Galenn Jackson, 35, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, burglary, kidnapping and other charges.

Jackson told police that she and her 27-year-old accomplice, Cody David Winters, wanted to steal a car from the family whose home they invaded. Police didn't say whether the suspects knew any of their victims.

The homeowner who died was Richard Ramos, 59, a father of four and a salesman for a packaging company, according to his sister-in-law, Kim Johnston. His wife, Julie Ramos, was checked out at a hospital for stab wounds but was later released, Johnston said.

Police said the crimes began about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, when Jackson and Winters — who she referred to as "Cody" or "Havoc" — carjacked a freeway service vehicle that had stopped to help them on the side of the U.S. 95 freeway. Authorities said the driver of the roadside assistance vehicle thought the couple needed help.

Instead, the duo pulled out a gun and knife and robbed the worker of personal items including a cellphone before forcing him to drive to a neighborhood about 3 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, according to the police report. They let him leave, and he contacted police.

Meanwhile, Jackson told police she and Winters knocked on a door, asked the homeowner to use the phone and then pulled out a gun once they got inside. Ramos tried to wrest the gun from Winters' hands, Jackson said, and his Julie Ramos tried to help her husband in the struggle.

Jackson said she stabbed Julie Ramos with a screwdriver and Winters got control of the gun and shot Richard Ramos, who died later at a hospital.

Police said two of the homeowner's children witnessed the attack. Their ages weren't known.

The suspects then scaled backyard walls and tried to break into two other homes. Then Winters broke a window, invaded another house and shot a woman there.

Police found the suspects and closed in on the area.

At one point in the standoff, Winters walked out of a house holding Jackson, pretending she was a hostage, according to police Capt. Matt McCarthy. But Jackson escaped his grasp and officers shot at Winters, who retreated into a house. Police arrested Jackson.

Officers said Winters came outside a second time, holding the woman who had been shot, McCarthy said. The woman fell to the ground, and officers shot Winters, who later died.

The woman shot in the second home was taken to the hospital in critical condition, McCarthy said.

Officer Larry Hadfield, a police spokesman, said the names of the officers involved in the shooting would be released in coming days.

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