Man accused of killing, robbing Modesto bookstore employee could face death penalty

Modesto police respond to Kansas Avenue assault

The Modesto Police Department responded to an assault reported at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at a Kansas Avenue business.
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The Modesto Police Department responded to an assault reported at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at a Kansas Avenue business.

A man accused of robbing and killing an employee at a Modesto adult bookstore could face the death penalty if he’s convicted, a prosecutor told a judge Thursday.

Favian Marcos Ramirez, 20, of Modesto is charged with murder and robbery in the shooting of 38-year-old Cinnamon Eades, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday morning by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

The murder charge includes a special circumstance allegation — that the shooting occurred during a robbery — that makes the case against Ramirez eligible for the death penalty.

Ramirez made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. He was ushered into the courtroom wearing a gray-and-charcoal jail inmate jumpsuit with shackles on his wrists and ankles. He sat quietly next to Deputy Public Defender Jared Jordan.

Jordan asked the judge to postpone the arraignment while the county’s Public Defender’s Office, which has been appointed to represent Ramirez, receives discovery evidence collected by prosecutors.

Favian Marcos Ramirez .jpg
Favian Marcos Ramirez, 20, of Modesto was arrested on charges of robbing and killing Cinnamon Eades at the adult bookstore where she worked on July 9, 2019. Modesto Police Department

Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Scott Steffen postponed Ramirez’s arraignment until July 25. Ramirez only spoke in court when he told the judge he was willing to waive his right to an arraignment in a timely manner.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Houston asked the judge to keep Ramirez in jail without setting a bail amount, because Ramirez could face the death penalty if convicted. The prosecutor told the judge that the District Attorney’s Office had not decided whether it will seek the death penalty.

Judge Steffen said Ramirez also could face life in prison without parole if he’s convicted. Steffen denied the prosecutor’s request and set Ramirez’s bail at $11 million.

Eades suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where she died. She was working at Liberty Adult Books, at 1030 Kansas Ave. in west Modesto, Tuesday afternoon when the shooting occurred.

The Modesto police Violent Crimes Unit determined that Ramirez made a purchase at the bookstore, and said he then shot Eades before grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash and leaving the store.

Police officials said Ramirez drove to the store in a car he’d taken on a test drive from a Modesto used-car dealership. He left the car outside Liberty Adult Books when he walked away from the crime, according to police.

Modesto police were at the scene of a shooting in the 1000 block of Kansas Avenue on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Modesto Police Department

Detectives identified Ramirez through a combination of information, including security camera video and questioning staff at the car dealership, where police say he provided valid identification before taking the test drive.

Detectives and SWAT officers found Ramirez leaving a Ceres home in another vehicle Tuesday night. Police said Ramirez ran away, but he was found about 11 p.m. after authorities surrounded the area near Pleasant and Central avenues.

Ramirez’s charges include enhancements for allegedly acting with premeditation and using a gun in the deadly robbery, according to the filed complaint.

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Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.