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Gunmen in Stockton bank robbery where hostage was killed plead guilty to murder

Stockton bank robbery
A Stockton police officer examines the bullet-riddled vehicle that authorities said was used by suspects attempting to flee the scene of a bank robbery on July 16, 2014.
(Craig Sanders / Associated Press)

A Stockton bank robber who used a hostage as a human shield during a police pursuit pleaded guilty to murder and a host of other charges Friday, San Joaquin County prosecutors said.

Jaime Ramos, who faced a death penalty trial, also pleaded guilty to carjacking and attempted murder on a peace officer and will be sentenced to life without parole for his role in the July 2014 incident.

An accomplice, Pablo Ruvalcaba, pleaded guilty to murder and will be sentenced to 25 years to life, officials said.

Jaime Ramos, Pablo Ruvalcaba

Jaime Ramos, left, and Pablo Ruvalcaba are being held in connection with a deadly bank robbery and shootout in Stockton on July 16, 2014.

(Stockton Police Department)
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Ramos and Ruvalcaba were among four men who robbed the Bank of the West in Stockton on a weekday afternoon, took three hostages, then fled with officers in pursuit. Their two accomplices were killed in a shootout with police.

The murder charges stem from the death of bank customer Misty Holt-Singh, who had stopped at the bank with her daughter and became one of three hostages the robbers kidnapped and took along during the chase. 

The two other hostages were injured during the chase and escaped the vehicle. Holt-Singh, however, was kept in the SUV and was ultimately shot 10 times by Stockton police who returned fire at the robbers.

The pursuit was one of the most violent incidents in Stockton’s history, police said. It spanned three counties and involved at least 35 officers. More than 20 officers discharged their weapons, officials said.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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