In 2003, a 20-year-old Ramiro Gonzales was waiting to be moved from Bandera County Jail to prison, where he'd serve two life sentences for the rape and kidnapping of a real estate agent.

Something told him to confess to a previous, even worse crime- be it his conscience or the realization he'd never see life outside again, so what could it matter? He asked to speak to Sheriff James MacMillian, who hardly believed what Ramiro confessed about a missing person's case.

Ramiro admitted later he didn't think the death penalty was real. "I thought that was in the movies." He'd find out the truth soon enough.

TX Dept of Corrections/ Canva
TX Dept of Corrections/ Canva
loading...

Ramiro was raised on a sprawling ranch in Medina County, west of San Antonio. It was to this ranch he returned with Texas Ranger Skylor Hearn. As the pickup jostled over dirt and caliche roads, Ramiro described the jewelry she was wearing when they were both 18 years old, when she would die and he would become a murderer.

READ MORE: Long Timers: A Look At Texas Inmates On Death Row 30+ Years

Her remains had been scattered by wildlife, but most of her was still there- her skull, some long bones, and that jewelry. They never would find her rib cage.

After a few different versions of the story were told- involving the Mexican Mafia and others- the truth finally came out. In 2001, Ramiro, knowing his drug dealer buddy wasn't home, pushed past his girlfriend Bridget Townsend when she opened the door.

Looking for cocaine to steal, he pocketed some cash. Townsend started to call her boyfriend, so Ramiro pushed her down, tied her up, and carried her to his truck. On his family land, Ramiro raped Townsend before shooting her dead. He returned his grandfather's rifle and talked to his family like nothing had happened.

READ MORE: Alabama Executes Man With Nitrogen Gas, Could Texas Be Next?

In 2006 Ramiro would be sentenced to die, as murder committed during another felony (in this case kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault) is a capital crime. A psychiatrist, who would later call into question his own testimony, helped convince the jury that Ramiro would be dangerous in the future, the other caveat fo handing down a death sentence.

It is for that reason that Ramiro's execution date was stayed in 2022, but now Ramiro has been rescheduled to die on June 26th of this year. Ramiro hopes to be allowed to donate a kidney to a stranger before this happens- in hopes of making small amends for the life he took.

Ramiro had a fraught childhood and was only 18 at the time of the crime, so some are hoping that Ramiro's life will ultimately be spared. Time will tell if Ramiro can somehow get another stay- or even less likely, have his sentence commuted to life in prison.

Texas Death Row: A Look At Notable Last Meals (And One Pile Of Dirt)

As of 2011, Texas no longer honors last-meal requests because of one very expensive and elaborate meal that went untouched. We take a look at that final meal, along with other notable ones, including the guy who requested a pile of dirt.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

Texas Death Row: A Look The Life & Crimes Of Every Inmate Executed In 2023

Here is a look at the eight men executed this year in Texas and the capital crimes they were convicted of committing.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

What Is A Day Like In Texas Prisons? A View From Both Sides Of The Bars

Have you ever wondered what life inside a Texas prison is really like? I asked friends who are correction officers and folks who have volunteered at jails. I also asked former inmates, and browsed forums and articles with current and former inmates. Put all together, it paints what I hope is a fairly accurate picture of daily prison life in Texas.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

 

 

More From News/Talk 95.1 & 790 KFYO