Man guilty of murder in choking death of daughter

A jury convicted a 51-year-old Las Vegas man of first-degree murder Monday for strangling his daughter, a 20-year-old Las Vegas showgirl.

A penalty hearing for Daniel Ramet was to begin today, and prosecutors are expected to put Ramet’s ex-wife and only surviving child, on the witness stand in their effort to see Ramet imprisoned for the rest of his life.

At a minimum, he will be sentenced to 20 years behind bars for killing Amy Ramet.

He was arrested May 20, 2006, after his ex-wife broke a window of his house at 6401 Hyde Ave., near Torrey Pines and Alta drives, to confront him about their daughter who had been missing for a month. Police arrived and discovered the Folies Bergere dancer had been decomposing for a month in the house she had shared with her father.

Ramet testified last week that after months of suicidal thoughts and depression he snapped and strangled his daughter.

Ramet was fired from his job as a bartender in 2005, a year after his divorce, and was unable to find work.

By April 2006, Ramet said, he was out of money. The water had been shut off, he had no phone and ate every two or three days, sharing his food with his dog and cat — and at times eating their food. “The cat food was better,” he said.

On April 20, Amy Ramet had yet to receive a paycheck for the week and was angry because there was no food in the house, Ramet testified.

“She’s upset. I’m upset. I’m depressed. It was a bad situation. I didn’t know what to do,” Ramet testified.

He said his daughter followed him around the house, yelling at him.

“I was provoked. I was suicidal. She was telling me to kill myself. I felt trapped,” he said.

He said he reached out and grabbed her throat.

Ramet’s lawyer, Norman Reed, argued that Ramet’s crime was not murder but rather the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter because, he said, the killing was not premeditated.

But Prosecutor Sandra DiGiacomo emphasized in her closing arguments that Ramet choked his daughter twice before he threw her body on her bed and covered her with a blanket, trying to forget about her.

In a call from jail that was recorded by authorities, Ramet told his other daughter that he loved Amy and did not know why he strangled her. He said he had his hands around her neck for more five minutes before he stood up. When she started to awaken, he choked her again, and that second time he killed her.

He then dragged her by her ankles to the bedroom.

He testified that he went in and prayed beside her in the days after the strangling.

In the weeks after he killed his daughter, he replied to text messages sent to her and fended off phone calls that came in for her.

He said he thought about killing himself but couldn’t go through with it.

“It was still all weird to me,” Ramet testified. “It was still all, she’s in there sleeping and I’m protecting her.”

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