A convicted murderer is set to be released from prison Tuesday, shocking and angering at least one of the victim’s loved ones.
Ramon Bravo, 45, will be released on probation after serving eight years on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of his then-wife Susan Amos-Bravo.
Eric Harrison, public information officer with the New Mexico Department of Corrections, confirmed earlier this week that Bravo is still expected to be released Tuesday from the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe, where he is housed.
Timothy Amos — brother of Amos-Bravo — said he and his family were stunned to learn in September that Bravo would be released.
“We did not think he would be getting out this soon at all,” he said.
Amos said his family has been hit hard by news of the release.
“We all feel terrible,” he said.
When asked about Bravo’s pending release, Bravo’s attorney Frank Patterson declined to comment.
Bravo was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to 15 years in prison with three years suspended for the May 2003 murder of Amos-Bravo.
The couple had been separated when Bravo allegedly broke into her home and hid in her closet. He then attacked her when she came home from a T-ball game, strangling her with a cord and stabbing her to death.
Bravo was charged with first-degree murder and one count of aggravated burglary in the death Amos-Bravo. The charges though were dismissed in November 2003.
The family later won an $8 million wrongful death suit against Bravo and a second-degree murder charge was subsequently brought against Bravo based on new evidence from the civil suit: a jailhouse confession from an inmate who said Bravo admitted to killing Amos-Bravo. Bravo later pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge.
Amos said between the time Amos-Bravo was killed and Bravo was ultimately sentenced, his family suffered greatly.
New Mexico law requires an individual to serve 85% of their prison sentence before they are released.
When asked about why Bravo was to be released after just two-thirds of his sentence was served, Harrison said Bravo received a lump sum meritorious deduction for earning his associate’s degree. New Mexico law establishes awards for inmates to gain useful skills and education while earning time off toward their incarceration term.
The awards, Harrison said, are a way to incentivize participation by inmates in rehabilitation programs.
He added the details of Bravo’s award were not readily available, but the department has several program options available to inmates that help them gain knowledge and skills that will help them to deal with situations they will encounter when they leave prison.
Amos said that he does not think individuals convicted of violent crimes such as murder should be eligible for such programs. He said that in the future, he will seek to talk with state legislators about changing the law.
“For a violent offender to be able to get out early for good behavior, you know that just blows me away,” he said.
The Department of Corrections did not release any details about Bravo’s probation.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.