A Florida dentist who was shot outside her office in November has died. One of the accused shooters is the brother of a man she was set to testify against about a theft at her practice, according to news reports.
Carmen Ramirez, DDS, succumbed to the multiple gunshot wounds that she sustained when she was ambushed in front of Güines Dental Office in Hialeah on November 19, authorities confirmed on December 19. She had been in a medically induced coma since her attack.
Ralph Benjamin, 39, and Hector Ledesma, 34, were arrested for the shooting on November 22 at Miami International Airport. The day after the shooting, the men bought one-way airline tickets to the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to reports.
On December 12, the pair pleaded not guilty to the attempted, premeditated murder of Dr. Ramirez. Those charges are expected to be upgraded to murder due to her death.
Dr. Ramirez likely was targeted due to her plans to testify against Ledesma's brother, Jose Ledesma, police said. Prior to their arrests, Benjamin lived in the Virgin Islands and Hector Ledesma lived in Orlando. Police believe they came to the area to "hunt down" the dentist.
Dr. Ramirez was weeks away from being the key witness at Jose Ledesma's trial. In 2015, he allegedly used Dr. Ramirez's identity to steal $40,000 from her and her dental practice.