‘The pain doesn’t go away’: Family gives statement after death penalty overturned in Noah Espada’s capital murder conviction

Noah Espada was convicted in 2005 of killing Sandra Ramos and Luke Scott

SAN ANTONIO – Convicted killer Noah Espada will now spend his life in prison after his death sentence was overturned by an appeals court.

Espada was back in a San Antonio courtroom on Friday to receive his new sentence after accepting a plea deal.

Espada has admitted that in 2004, he went to kill his former boss, Luke Scott after being fired but when he entered the wrong apartment unit, he killed Sandra Ramos so there would be no witnesses. Days later he returned to the complex and killed Scott.

The case went to trial in 2005 and Espada was found guilty and given the death penalty.

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He filed an appeal asking for a retrial. In 2018 the Fourth Court of Appeals opinion stated that the conviction would stand but the punishment needed to be reheard because of faulty testimony during the punishment phase by Bexar County jail guard Christopher Nieto.

Prosecutors in the case stated in court Friday that a plea deal was reached that would waive the death penalty in this case.

Espada pleaded guilty and as part of the plea deal, Judge Ron Rangel sentenced him to life in prison. Also as part of the plea agreement, Espada waived the right to file any further appeals.

After the sentencing families of the victims gave impact statements via Zoom.

“The pain doesn’t go away,” Sandra Ramos’ father Julio Ramos said. “He not only killed my daughter, but he also killed generations of her children, who would have been generations of her own family. That’s what he did, a mass murderer that he is.”

Scott’s mother Alicia Abboud stated in her impact statement: “He was the soul of our family and he’s gone and we miss him every day.”

*Below is the judge’s opinion on the case given by the Fourth Court of Appeal in 2018:

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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