DA files appeal in Ramm case
November 14, 2002
The Kings Beach man sentenced for his involvement in the accident that killed longtime Truckee resident Joan Kelly may be returning to the courtroom.
On Oct. 24, Judge Richard Cousins ruled in favor of reducing felony vehicular manslaughter charges against Stephen K. Ramm, 46, to a misdemeanor before handing down a sentence.
Last week, however, Placer County Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran filed a notice of appeal with the court clerk in response to that decision.
“The people do not believe the defendant’s conduct was misdemeanor conduct,” he said.
“We’ve yet to receive any court dates, but it’s likely that it’s going to be a few months.”
The conditions of Ramm’s sentencing included five years of formal probation, a five-year suspension of driving privileges and various fines.
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“He will also have to serve 365 days of jail time,” Cattran added. “The first 180 of those days will have to be spent in custody before he can apply for an alternative, such as house arrest.
Ramm was expected to turn himself in to the jail in Auburn on Nov. 8.
The incident in question occurred on March 4, when Ramm was driving eastbound on State Route 28 through Kings Beach. Around 7 p.m., Ramm’s 1981 pickup truck veered into the westbound lane and continued up onto the sidewalk, where it struck the Kelly family of Truckee – Joan, Crispin and their 16-year-old son Kyle – as they were walking into the Brockway Theater.
Joan, 45, was killed instantly at the scene.
Ramm claims to have experienced a temporary loss of consciousness due to a medical condition just before the accident, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP’s investigation found Ramm at fault in the accident for his failure to drive on the right half of the roadway and also in violation for driving on the sidewalk, according to CHP Officer Kirk Bromell.
“The investigation also showed that Ramm had previously been informed by physicians that he had experienced past episodes of losses of consciousness,” Bromell said. “He had also been told that he should not operate a vehicle because of that condition.”
Ramm was booked and released on his own recognizance, and has no prior criminal record.