'Most dangerous person I've ever dealt with': Lawyer feared newspaper murder suspect
Brennan McCarthy spent years staring out the window, expecting one day to see Jarrod Ramos coming for him. In his 19 years of practicing law, McCarthy, an attorney in Annapolis, Maryland, said he never came across any person who frightened him as much as Ramos. That same man is now charged with killing five people at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis on Thursday. "Of the thousands of people I’ve dealt with in court, this guy stuck," McCarthy told USA TODAY. "I was extremely scared that he was going to do something to me and my family." McCarthy says he became a target of Ramos' rage after representing a woman in 2011 who accused Ramos of stalking her and threatening her online. The woman told McCarthy that Ramos, who had gone to the same high school as she did, had been harassing her online since 2009. McCarthy described it as the "worst case of harassment and stalking I have ever encountered in my career." "He was communicating by telephone, by text, by Facebook, by instant messaging, and he was just saying outrageous things like, ‘you should kill yourself,'" McCarthy said. "He wrote to her work saying, 'She is a bipolar drunkard and you should fire her.' She actually lost her job." Ramos pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and was sentenced to probation. Shortly after that, the Capital Gazette ran a column, "Jarrod wants to be your friend," which used Ramos' case to warn readers of the dangers of sharing personal details with people online. McCarthy said Ramos was furious about the article, insisting he was simply stating facts about the woman and that he had done nothing wrong. In 2013, Ramos contacted the woman he had been found guilty of stalking. He demanded that she share with him all material she had on his case as part of a defamation lawsuit he filed against the newspaper.