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Posted at 05:29 PM ET, 01/31/2013

Joaquin Rams, accused of murdering son, claimed in life insurance policy that boy’s mother had died

A Manassas man accused of drowning his 15-month-old son had claimed in a life insurance policy for the boy that the infant’s mother had died five years ago, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Prince William County Circuit Court.

Hera McLeod, the boy’s mother, is 32 years old and lives in Gaithersburg.

Joaquin S. Rams, 40, is charged with the first-degree murder of his son, Prince McLeod Rams. Rams had taken out several life insurance policies on his son, worth more than $560,000, according to court documents.

In one policy taken out on the boy, Rams said that McLeod had died in an accident, according to the affidavit.

Rams’s lawyer, Timothy Olmstead, could not be reached immediately Thursday. Rams has said on a blog that he is innocent.

“The memories of [Prince] calling me ‘dada’ will be forever locked in my mind,” he wrote.

Police seized baby shoes, a crib, a mattress, a red and blue blanket and various electronics from Rams’s Manassas home in the 9000 block of Landgreen Street, court documents say.

McLeod and Rams met online and had an 18-month relationship before things soured around July 2011, McLeod has said.

McLeod could not be reached Thursday.

Rams’s account of what happened on Oct. 20 – the day of the alleged murder – was also contradicted by household members in interviews with police, according to the documents. Rams told police that he checked on the boy when he was making “raspy noises,” the affidavit says, and rushed him into the bathroom. Others in the house, according to the document, told police they saw him “throwing water”onto Prince in a bathtub.

Rams told police he did so because he thought the boy was having a seizure, while a medical examiner found that no seizure had occurred on that day. Prince did, however, have a history of seizures.

Last year, citing concerns for the boy’s safety, McLeod wanted Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Algeo to deny visitation rights to Rams. After court proceedings, Algeo initially allowed only supervised visits, appointing a retired police officer to monitor Rams and Prince when they were together. Eventually, Algeo lifted the supervision requirement.

During the court fight over custody and visitation, a Manassas police detective testified that Rams remained a suspect in the unsolved shooting death of a former girlfriend, Shawn Katrina Mason, in 2003. Rams had an opportunity and motive to commit the crime, the detective testified. A Prince William social worker noted in a report that Rams mistakenly thought he was the beneficiary of Mason’s life insurance policy.

Rams, in his family court testimony, denied any involvement in Mason’s death.

Authorities are also reexamining the apparent 2008 suicide of Rams’s mother.

By  |  05:29 PM ET, 01/31/2013

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