Campbell County murder suspect denied bond

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RUSTBURG (WSLS 10) - A Campbell County General District Court judge called Ralph Ramsey a danger to the public when denying his bond request Tuesday morning.

Ramsey, 63, is charged with second-degree murder for the December 30 shooting death of Samuel Dawson, 55. Their families own adjoining property on Red House Road in Gladys. The two men had been in an ongoing dispute over the shared use of a driveway, according to investigators.

At the bond hearing, the Commonwealth played a video taken by the victim's son that captured the shooting. Commonwealth's Attorney Paul McAndrews told Judge Stephanie Maddox that Ramsey "executed" Dawson, shooting him five times while Dawson sat in his vehicle. McAndrews said one bullet entered Dawson's arm as he attempted to shield himself from the gunfire.

McAndrews stated when Dawson's son started to get out of his vehicle, Ramsey pointed the gun at him and told him to get out of there. An investigator testified Ramsey called 911 and told a dispatcher Dawson tried to run over him with his vehicle and he shot him.

Sid Kirstein, Ramsey's defense attorney, said Ramsey was acting in self-defense. Kirstein said Ramsey told Dawson's son to get out of there to prevent more violence. The Commonwealth disputes the self-defense claim, stating the minute of video leading up the shooting shows nothing but two idle cars, not Dawson attempting to run over Ramsey.

Kirstein asked the judge for a $50,000 secured bond. Kirstein said Ramsey could live at one of his rental properties about 20 miles away from the Dawson family and would be willing to wear an electronic monitoring device. Kirstein said the only person Ramsey had ever had a problem with was the victim.

"Saying 'I killed the person I had a problem with, so I'm no longer a danger.' is absurd," said McAndrews to the judge.

Ramsey cried when he saw his wife sitting in the courtroom.

He's being held at the Campbell County Adult Detention Center.