OCEANSIDE — Two Marines accused of the brutal slaying of an Oceanside business owner will have to stand trial for his murder, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled Oct. 15 at the defendant’s preliminary hearing in a Vista courtroom.
Pfc. Xavier Akeam Adams, 19, and Lance Cpl. Raphael Roshod Ramey, 20, are charged with one count of first-degree murder with the allegation that they both used a knife as well as special circumstance allegations of lying in wait, carjacking and robbery relating to the fatal stabbing of Charles Evan Williams on Aug. 23 in the office of his automotive restoration shop, Classic Luxury Street Concepts, on South Coast Highway in Oceanside.
Additionally, Ramey is charged with the special circumstance allegation of torture. If convicted, the defendants, both from Texas, could face the death penalty; however, Deputy District Attorney Minaz Bhayani said that decision would be made at a later date.
Williams, 23, had more than 14 stab wounds on his body, with the longest laceration being nine inches long, prosecutors have said.
Adams and Ramey, who were both stationed at Camp Pendleton, were arrested Aug. 24 in the 700 block of West Fallbrook Street in Fallbrook at an acquaintance’s house, Oceanside police Detective Bill Weese testified. He said authorities had been tipped off about their whereabouts and when they showed up at the residence, officers found Williams’ silver Cadillac near the house.
Police apprehended Adams and Ramey approximately five hours later when they tried to enter the vehicle, Weese said.
Prior to the defendants’ arrest, the detective said Ramey made a spontaneous statement. “He said, ‘The evidence we were looking for would be in the trunk of the vehicle.””
Weese said inside the Cadillac’s trunk, police found bloody clothing, two blood-stained Winchester folding knives and bloody sneakers.
In a police interview hours after the defendants’ arrest, Ramey admitted to the killing in a statement videotaped by police, which was played during the preliminary hearing. Ramey said he had bought the knives and two crowbars the previous day from a nearby Wal-Mart in preparation for his meeting with Williams.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do if he lies to me again,” Ramey said he told Adams.
Ramey said he was furious with Williams because he felt he was being “punked” by the store owner, who he said continued to lie about when his restored car, which he said cost $12,500, would be finished.
When Williams didn’t produce the vehicle, a 1970 Chevy Impala, that Sunday afternoon, Ramey told police: “I just did it. He tried to defend himself, but I was determined.”
Ramey downplayed Adams’ role in the murder.
However, in his videotaped statement, Adams told police he stabbed Williams a couple of times.
He said he and Ramey had talked about robbing Williams the day before the murder. Adams said he was armed near the door of Williams’ office prepared to stop him if he tried to flee.
The defendants, who remain in custody on $10 million bail, are scheduled back in court Oct. 29 for an arraignment hearing.