Man sentenced to 650 years to life for carjacking, kidnapping

VISTA (KUSI) – A man who carjacked and kidnapped a father and son at gunpoint in Encinitas, as well as taking part in an extensive North County burglary spree, was sentenced today to almost 650 years to life in state prison.

Joseph Martin Ramos, 37, was convicted last fall by a Vista jury and sentenced Friday morning on charges related to the kidnapping and burglaries, as well as a number of strike convictions.

Ramos was taken into custody in October of 2016, an incident that ended with him being shot by a sheriff’s deputy near Beacons Beach in Encinitas.

Prosecutors say Ramos was spotted earlier that day by deputies who recognized him as a suspect in a series of residential burglaries during which firearms had been stolen.

Ramos sped away from law enforcement, triggering a pursuit. He drove to the intersection of Manchester Avenue and South Rancho Santa Fe Road, where he abandoned his pickup, ran into a nearby parking lot and confronted a man who was buckling his 7-year-old son into a child safety seat in a silver two-door Scion.

Prosecutors say Ramos pointed to a pistol tucked in his waistband and demanded that the father drive him away from the area. The victim complied, driving to the west and north as Ramos threatened him with the handgun periodically.

Near Beacons Beach, sheriff’s personnel caught up to the commandeered car and pulled the driver over. Ramos exited the car with the handgun drawn and was shot by a sheriff’s deputy.

In addition to the kidnapping counts, which carried sentences of life with the possibility of parole, he was also convicted for a string of home burglaries between May and October 2016. Due to several of the convicted counts being strikes, Ramos received 25-year-to-life terms for each burglary and attempted burglary charge, according to prosecutors.

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