Minutes before a New Jersey woman was sentenced to prison for killing her identical twin sister in a drunken brawl, she begged her family for forgiveness.
Amanda Ramirez, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in September for the fatal June 22 stabbing of her sister Anna Ramirez outside Amanda’s Camden home. A judge sentenced her to six years behind bars on Thursday, NJ.com reports.
Ramirez gave an emotional apology prior to her sentence being handed down.
“I know there’s nothing I can say to justify what I did. I just want to make it clear that I never had intentions of taking my twin sister’s life. If I could take back what I did I would in a heartbeat,” she said, as tears streamed down her face, according to NJ.com.
“Having to live with the fact that she’s no longer alive is devastating,” she continued, her voice cracking. “I just want to apologize to my family for putting them through this. I hope that they all can forgive me.”
She then sat down and wiped away tears with a tissue.
It appears that her family has indeed forgiven her, at least enough to ask the judge to go easy on her, wanting her to come home as soon as possible. The sentence was on the lower end of the typical range for manslaughter cases.
“This hurts me deeply, but I need her to help me cope,” the twins’ sister Bianca Medina, 16, said in court, according to NJ.com. “You hold my sister’s life in your hands, so please be gentle.”
Ramirez’ attorney Jordan Zeitz said the whole family agreed with Medina’s sentiment.
“We would ask that you follow what the family wants – to get her back to them so they can heal quicker,” he said. Zietz blamed post postpartum depression for Ramirez’s actions the night she killed her twin.
Judge Edward McBride noted that he didn’t think Ramirez would repeat such a crime but cited her decision to give contradictory accounts of what happened after the fatal stabbing for his decision to send her to prison.
Ramirez maintains that she drank so much the night of the killing that she doesn’t even know what the fight was about.
A witness said that the twins began arguing in the middle of the night inside Ramirez’s home before taking the fight outside. The witness told investigators Amanda went into the house at some point, bringing back a knife, and telling her sister, “Watch what I am going to do,” according to a NJ.com report from June.
“Amanda, you stabbed me!” the witness recalled Anna saying.
Initially, Ramirez denied stabbing her sibling but later admitted to it, claiming self defense, CBS News reports. Scratches were found on Amanda' face, as well as dried blood in her ear as a result of the fight, according to the New York Daily News.
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