Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Texas Teen Accused of Hiring Hit Man to Kill Fellow Student

Yesterday I wrote about a teenaged girl in Miami who was the victim of a horrific crime. Today I have some thoughts to share on a Pasadena, TX (a suburb of Houston) boy who finds himself on the other side of the law. Seventeen-year-old Thomas Moses Ramirez faces life in prison, and the crime he committed was all in the name of love.

Ramirez, a student at Sam Houston High School, offered $150 and some drugs to an undercover officer in exchange for the killing of a girl he thought was interfering with his relationship with a former girlfriend. The job apparently was not to end there, as Ramirez indicated there would be another assignment once the first killing was successfully done. The young man has been charged with solicitation of capital murder, which is a first-degree felony. He made his first court appearance yesterday, and he is currently being held in the Harris County jail on $100,000 bond.

Fortunately, Ramirez did not get a trustworthy referral when searching for a hit man and law enforcement was able to intercept his deadly plan (a fellow teenager first turned down the appealing offer). The fact remains, however, that this teenager believed that a classmate’s life was worth no more than $150 and some Xanax. We have to question what factors in his family, or our society, led Ramirez to this sad conclusion. And how prevalent is this lack of consideration for life among our young people?

Ramirez’s father offers one possible explanation, at least in the instance of his son:

"It just tore him up — teenage puppy love," he said. "This is his first true love. He's got a broken heart. He's not thinking with his head. He's thinking with his heart. He said some bad things. He made some bad choices."

Heartbroken teenagers should stick with the time-honored traditions of playing the same sad song over and over again or ripping in half the photographs of a former love. They certainly should stop short of committing a felony that may cost them a life outside of prison bars. The belief that Ramirez made “some bad choices” is an understatement, and the legal consequences of these choices will become known as this case moves forward.

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