The man accused of killing his 15-month-old son in October 2012 in Prince William County was found guilty of capital murder in court Thursday morning.
Joaquin Rams, of Manassas, was also found guilty of insurance fraud. Because he was convicted of capital murder, he will face an automatic sentence of life in prison.
After psychological evaluations by Dr. Margaret Wang, a judge granted Rams unsupervised visits with Prince. It was during one of those visits that the 15-month-old was fatally injured.
"It’s my understanding that he took my son, he stripped off all his clothes and he held him under water until he died," said Hera McLeod, the mother of Prince Rams.
The boy was pronounced dead from his brain injuries the following day at Fairfax Inova Hospital. Prince had just learned to say the word "ball" when he was killed.
"Mr. Rams has a long history of violence. He was a suspect in the investigation of the 2003 death of his girlfriend. He was also a suspect in the 2008 death of his mother," said Patrick Regan, McLeod's attorney.
Regan said Rams never held a job and was living off the life insurance proceeds from his mother's death which was ruled a suicide by suffocation. Rams had taken out an insurance policy on little Prince.
"He took out $550,000 of life insurance on a 15-month-old child. That is not something a normal person does," said Regan.
"When I first saw him, I did have a strange feeling," said McLeod about the first time she saw Rams after meeting him at an online dating site in 2010.
McLeod said she at first believed the lies Rams told about his life. That is, until he raped her sister, she said.
McLeod fled to Maryland with Prince. Then, in September, Montgomery County Judge Michael Algeo granted Joaquin Rams unsupervised visits.
"Mr. Rams walked into the Ashburn Psychological Services and he essentially paid them to ignore evidence and to lie for him," said McLeod.
McLeod has filed a $20 million lawsuit against both the Ashburn Psychological Services and Dr. Margaret Wong, who evaluated Joaquin Rams. Neither Wong nor the center's owner would return our calls at the time.
But McLeod said the judge relied on the doctor's negligent finding that Rams was safe to have unsupervised visits with Prince.
"He was a psychopath and there was a long trail of evidence, all of which was ignored," said Regan.
McLeod says, it's not about the money but about saving others.