Bentley pleads guilty to murder

November 14, 2012

LUDINGTON – Patrick Bentley has pleaded guilty to the Jan. 27 murder of his sister, Lacey Bentley and Fernando Ramirez.

Patrick Bentley, 21, agreed to two counts of second degree murder with a 45- to 65-year prison sentence Tuesday in 51st Circuit Court. The original charges were open murder. In September Lashawn Marie Whipple, 19, pleaded guilty to second degree murder of Ramirez and assault with intent to murder Lacey Bentley. She was also convicted of unlawful driving away of an automobile. She is serving a 30 to 60 year prison sentence.

Police said Patrick Bentley and Whipple shot 18-year-old Lacey Bentley eight times then waited for Ramirez, 35, to return from his second-shift job and strangled him. was the first media outlet to report the double-murder that took place on North Amber Road in Victory Township.

The murders happened on Thursday, Jan. 27. Ludington Police Department originally responded because of a call it received from the Ohio County, Ky. Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Jan. 28. The Kentucky department had called LPD because it had apprehended three people who were causing disruptions in that community after their vehicle broke down.

The Ohio County sheriff suspected the vehicle, registered out of Ludington, was stolen, so he called LPD. Because the incident happened in Victory Township, Mason County Sheriff’s Office was called in. At that time, the murder was discovered.

After committing the murder, Patrick Bentley and Whipple allegedly drove to Osceola County where they picked up a third person.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said no charges were filed in Kentucky.

Spaniola said he is pleased with the plea agreement.

“When the defense made the proposal to us, I brought the Ramirez family in and they were receptive to it,” Spaniola said. “I also spoke with Richard Bentley, Patrick and Lacey’s father, and he was agreeable to it. I have had a difficult time reaching their mother but based on early input, I believe she will be agreeable to it as well.”

Spaniola said Patrick Bentley won’t be eligible for parole for 48 years.


Story and photo by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief



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