Princeville man found guilty of killing his parents sentenced to life in prison

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Princeville man who murdered his parents back in October 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison.

On Friday, 22-year-old Jose Ramirez was given his sentence in Peoria County Court, with no possibility of parole.

After a three-day bench trial in November, Peoria County Judge Katherine Gorman found Ramirez guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his parents, Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron. Authorities claimed Ramirez, along with 21-year-old Matthew Roberts, pepper-sprayed his father and then stabbed him in the stomach and the neck while the couple was asleep. He also pepper-sprayed his mother, and stabbed her in the stomach then neck. Ramirez gave a second testimony saying he hit them with a baseball bat.

“Your parents loved you, and you killed them,” Gorman said Friday. “Two people are dead and your life is forever altered. You can’t change it, and you can’t take it back.”

During his trial, Ramirez admitted to killing them.

“What do you want me to say? I killed them,” he said. “[…] I proceeded to clean up as much as possible then tried to make it look like a robbery gone wrong.”

Ramirez said he destroyed his parents’ phones after, and he used one camping tent and one tarp to get his parents out of the house, put their bodies in his dad’s car, then used the car to leave.

Roberts pleaded guilty back in November, but mentally ill. His plea deal was accepted and he is facing 60 years in prison.

The two traveled around 10-15 miles north of Kewanee where they threw the couple’s bodies into the Spoon River.

The couple worked at Bradley University.

Ramirez will appear back in court on March 27 for a motion to reconsider.

This story will be updated.

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