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Teen Convicted of Principal Murder

February 6, 1998

DILLINGHAM, Alaska (AP) _ An Alaska teen-ager was convicted of murder Thursday for killing his principal and a classmate last year when he walked through the halls of his school firing a shotgun.

The jury deliberated just five hours before convicting Evan Ramsey, 17, of two murder counts and several other charges. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced in June.

Killed were Josh Palacios, a popular basketball player who sometimes teased Ramsey, and Ron Edwards, principal at Bethel High School.

Ramsey’s lawyer, Wally Tetlow, had argued that Ramsey was trying to commit suicide last Feb. 19, when he brought a 12-gauge shotgun to the school.

Two notes Ramsey had written the night before the killing indicated he planned to kill himself and others, but Tetlow argued that Ramsey wanted only to scare a few people so that the police would come and shoot him _ what Tetlow called ``suicide by cop.″

Prosecutor Renee Erb said the letters confirmed Ramsey’s intent to kill others. That he also may have considered killing himself doesn’t absolve him of first-degree murder, she said.

The trial was moved to Dillingham, about 300 miles west of Anchorage, to avoid pretrial publicity in Bethel, another southwest Alaska city.

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