SANTA ANA -The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations, denied the parole today of a man convicted of the 1984 murder of his girlfriend’s husband to collect insurance money. Adam Ramirez, 70, is currently being held at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran, CA. Ramirez was sentenced on June 7, 1985, to 28 years to life in state prison for felonies including one count each of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. Deputy District Attorney Richard Toohey originally prosecuted the case. Ramirez will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2016. Before denying the inmate’s parole, the Board took into consideration the facts of the case, Ramirez’s prison record, his failure to take responsibility for the murder and refusal talk about the murder at the hearing.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) opposed the parole and Orange County Deputy District Attorney Barrie Pink appeared with the sister and brother-in-law of the victim to defend public safety and advocate for justice. The OCDA maintains that Ramirez is a risk to public safety because he refuses to take responsibility for the crime.
Murder of James Hughes
In 1984, then-42-year-old Ramirez was having a sexual relationship with 29-year-old Jeannette Lynn Hughes, who was married to 37-year-old James Dilbert Hughes. Ramirez plotted with Jeannette Hughes to murder her husband in order to be together and collect $442,000 in life insurance.
At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Jan. 10, 1984, Ramirez armed himself with a rifle and instructed his 21-year-old son Adam Edward Ramirez Jr. to drive him and drop him off at the Hughes’ house. Once his son drove away, Ramirez was let into the home by the victim’s wife. He entered the master bedroom, where James Hughes was sleeping, and shot the victim with a rifle, murdering him. He then took the victim’s 1981 Toyota Celica and fled the scene.
After waiting until later in the night, Jeannette Hughes called 911 and falsely reported a robbery. She told the police that she was awakened by popping sounds and rendered semi-unconscious after being hit in the jaw with the rifle. She also told police that the last thing she remembered was hearing the garage door open. The Huntington Beach Police Department responded to the call and located Ramirez driving the stolen vehicle. The rifle used in the murder was found in Ramirez’s car, which was parked in a restaurant parking lot.
Lack of Responsibility
Despite witness testimony and evidence presented at trial, Ramirez maintains that he was not the shooter and insists that he did not murder the victim. He refuses to take responsibility by continuing to blame Jeannette Hughes for the murder, claiming that they devised a plan to kill her husband, and he only went along with it because he wanted to be with her. He also claims that he went to their house that night to kill James Hughes, but when he arrived, the victim was already dead. The fact that Ramirez involved his 21-year-old son in the murder further demonstrates the serious threat he poses to public safety and shows that he needs to remain in prison.