DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham man has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his infant daughter and her mother, according to the Durham County District Attorney’s office.
Ramir Reams, 27, pleaded guilty on Tuesday afternoon for fatally shooting 10-month-old Ruia Reams and 20-year-old Zhytila “Honey” Wilkins on Jan. 11, 2019. He received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for each murder, with the sentences ordered to run concurrently.
According to evidence presented in court by Assistant District Attorney Lamar Proctor, Wilkins and her daughter were at their home on Suffolk Street on the day of their murders. Shortly before 10 a.m. on that day, Wilkins called 911 and reported she had been shot.
Before the call was disconnected, a gunshot was heard. Dispatchers called back, and a man later identified as Reams answered the phone. He told dispatchers everyone was fine even though Wilkins could be heard crying, according to court evidence. Reams also gave them a false address that was later determined to be his home address.
Emergency responders were sent to both locations, according to Proctor, but they found Reams’ home on Berkeley Street empty. When responders arrived at Wilkins’ home, they saw evidence of forced entry and found both Wilkins and her infant daughter dead from gunshot wounds to the head.
Reams was also found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the mouth, but he survived his injuries. A handgun discovered at the scene was determined to be the murder weapon. It had been fired six times, according to the evidence.
Wilkins and Reams had been in a romantic relationship for about five years and had recently broken up, according to Proctor. Wilkins’ cell phone was found at the scene, and when it was analyzed police discovered that it contained hundreds of recent text messages from the defendant that included threats as well as a photo of Reams with the murder weapon.
According to a release from the Durham County D.A.’s office, the state did not make a plea and was prepared to go to trial on Sept. 11 until the defendant pleaded guilty as charged.
In addition to Proctor, the case was prosecuted by Assistant D.A. Kendra Montgomery-Blinn and D.A. Satana Deberry. Superior Court Judge Shamieka Rhinehart presided over the case.