NORWICH – In October Ganesh R. Ramsaran was granted a retrial over the 2014 murder conviction of his wife, after it was determined his previous defense was not adequate.
He was convicted by a jury on Sept. 23, 2014, for the murder of his wife, Jennifer.
Police investigators said Ramsaran murdered her on the morning of Dec. 11, 2012 because he was having an affair and wanted to collect insurance money. The discovery of the victim's body came several months later and much of the case rested on forensic evidence.
Ramsaran had been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Despite being granted a retrial in the murder case, Ramsaran remained in maximum security prison at Great Meadow Correctional Facility until this week. He had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to bribe a corrections officer.
Prosecutors said Ramsaran had offered the guard cash to help him escape a couple months after he was found guilty of murder.
According to a Chenango County grand jury indictment, Ramsaran was charged with bribery in the second degree, a class C felony. It stated that on Nov. 4, 2014 while at the Chenango County Correctional Facility, Ramsaran offered Mark Chesebro, a Chenango County Corrections Officer, $100,000 to aide in the escape from the correctional facility.
Ramsaran pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2015, and was sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison to run concurrently with his murder conviction.
When his murder conviction was removed and a retrial ordered he remained in the state prison system until his bribery sentence came to a close this week, and he was then turned over to the Chenango County Sheriff's Office.
Ramsaran is currently being held at the Chenango County Correctional Facility pending his retrial in Chenango County Court.
“We picked him up today, he is now in our custody,” said Chenango County Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting on Tuesday. “He is still being held to answer for the charges at retrial. There is no bail.”
Speaking about the bribery conviction, Cutting said, “He tried to bribe one of our staff to get out of the gates so he could try and defend himself, that's what he said in court. He tried to bribe staff for a certain amount of money to get him outside the walls of the jail, and that officer told us, and he (Ramsaran) tried to put a few other things in motion which was enough for the DA.”
“What is important is we have an excellent case. We will put the best case forward in court that we can,” said Cutting.
Court officials confirmed Wednesday no bail has been set and there are no pending requests made for bail. Ramsaran is expected to return to Chenango County Court at a later time, but no date has yet been scheduled.
Following an eight-year-long appeal process Chenango County Court Judge Frank B. Revoir Jr., ruled in favor of Ramsaran, who argued he never received a fair trail because his lawyer at the time, Gil Garcia, was not qualified or experienced.
The court heard scathing assessments of Ramsaran's murder trial attorney, Garcia, labeling his defense incompetent and exploitative.
In the court's decision Revoir wrote, “There was nothing remotely truthful to the assertion Attorney Garcia concentrated in the field of criminal litigation, when his criminal litigation experience was all from nearly twenty years or more ago. It was nothing but blatant dishonesty to claim criminal litigation experience when he had not even tried a misdemeanor case. Yet this fraud was intentionally perpetrated upon the Court.”
The judge also pointed out a Disciplinary Review Board in New Jersey had also found the record supported a finding that Attorney Garcia made false representations to Mr. Ramsaran about his experience with murder cases.
“Attorney Garcia admitted he was censured by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for those ethical violations,” wrote Revoir.
“First, this Court makes a finding Attorney Garcia has no credibility. Not only did the aforementioned acts demonstrate his willingness to do and say anything to achieve his goals, his testimony at the hearing was blatantly tailored to serve his purposes. As noted above, if the answers to any questions potentially portrayed Attorney Garcia in a negative light, he either feigned a lack of recollection, or alternatively, he characterized his actions as mere regrettable mistakes. He even characterized his blatant lies made during judicial proceedings as mistakes.”
“It is preposterous to suggest the entire $100,000.00 fee (plus an additional $21,500.00 paid during the trial) was to be applied solely towards Attorney Garcia's legal fees. Utilizing no experts in defense of a case based entirely upon circumstantial evidence, a significant portion of which involved complex scientific and forensic data, benefits only one person - and that beneficiary is not Attorney Garcia's client.”
In conclusion Revoir wrote, “Under the totality of these facts and circumstances, the Court must find Attorney Garcia did not provide the reasonably competent services of an attorney devoted to the client's best interests.”