Hialeah

Pair Charged in Hialeah Dentist’s Murder to Face Death Penalty

Hector Ledesma, 34, and Ralph Benjamin, 39, appeared in court Friday where they were indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the killing of Carmen Ramirez

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Prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty against two men charged in the killing of a Hialeah dentist outside her office who had been set to testify against one of the suspect's brother.

Hector Ledesma, 34, and Ralph Benjamin, 39, appeared in court Friday where they were indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the killing of Carmen Ramirez.

Both men pleaded not guilty, and prosecutors announced they'd seek the death penalty against them at trial.

Police said the two men shot Ramirez multiple times as she walked up the stairs to her practice on East 41st Street back on Nov. 19. The 59-year-old died from her injuries a month later.

Detectives believe the men went to Hialeah to kill Ramirez because she was a victim of identity theft in Orlando and was going to testify against Ledesma's brother, who is accused of taking over $40,000 from her dental practice. Police said they were seen in nearby surveillance footage moments before the shooting.

Ledesma and Benjamin were arrested days later at Miami International Airport as they allegedly tried to flee to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both remain behind bars without bond and are due back in court for a hearing next month.

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