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Fla. Mom Was Strangled by Son After Confronting Him About Bad Grades, and Teen Gets 45 Years

People logo People 1/25/2021 Steve Helling
Brandon Hardesty wearing a green shirt: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office © Provided by People Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

A Florida teenager who admitted to killing his mother and burying her body under a church fire pit has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Gregory Ramos pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with evidence. On Friday, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison, with the sentence set to be reviewed after 25 years. He will be on probation for the rest of his life.

Now 17, Ramos was 15 years old in 2018 when he got into a fight with his mother over his grades, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He admitted to strangling 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, then calling two friends to help him bury her body and stage a robbery at his house.

Brandon Hardesty wearing a green shirt: Now 17, Gregory Ramos was 15 years old in 2018 when he got into a physical confrontation with his mother over his grades © Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Now 17, Gregory Ramos was 15 years old in 2018 when he got into a physical confrontation with his mother over his grades

He was charged as an adult.

During court proceedings, Ramos' public defender told the judge the teen regrets his crime and is trying to better himself behind bars.

RELATED: Florida Teen Confesses To Killing Mother After Fight Over Grades, Then Burying Her Body at Church

"He's extremely remorseful and he regrets his actions every day," Matthew Phillips, Ramos' public defender, told the court last month, according to WKMG-TV, "and he's been trying to be productive; while he's been in custody, he has been obtaining a high school diploma."

Ramos initially called 911 after arriving home from school on November 2, 2018. When detectives arrived, he told them he came home to discover that the house had been robbed. He alleged that his mother was missing, but her van was still running in the driveway.

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Upon further interrogation, Ramos changed his story, saying that they fought over a "D" grade he'd received in school. During the altercation, he strangled her. He said it took about 30 minutes for him to kill her.

He then called two friends to help him cover up the killing. They have both been charged as adults with being accessories after the fact to a capital felony. They have both pleaded not guilty.

According to WESH-TV, Ramos was emotional during the sentencing hearing, telling relatives that he was sorry for his actions. He made no excuses for himself.

At one point, the judge allowed Ramos' 84-year-old grandmother to see his face close up for the first time since he was jailed. She prayed with Ramos and told him that she will always be there for him.

Ramos has been remanded to a Florida prison to serve his sentence.

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