'Soulless' teen murdered mom after argument over bad grade: cops

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Volusia County deputies arrested Gregory Logan Ramos on Saturday on a murder charge in the death of his mother, 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger.

Volusia County Sheriff's Department Gail Cleavenger, 46, was strangled to death by her 15-year-old son following an argument about a grade he received at school, authorities said.

The boy's reason? The mother and son had gotten into an argument over a "D" grade he got at school, police said, adding that Ramos got upset after his mother called his father, who was out of town on a business trip.

After killing her, authorities say Ramos called two school friends, who allegedly helped him bury his mom, Gail Cleavenger, in a fire pit near a church.

Ramos waited until she was asleep, went into her room at 12.30am and strangled her.

Chitwood said that Ramos tried to justify his actions as "preemptive self-defense", and was convinced that "he had to kill [Gail] before she killed him".

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Chitwood told WKMG Ramos enlisted the help of his friends to bury his mother's body in a fire pit where they had previously gone to drink and do drugs, because the ground was "malleable".

Ramos' attorney, public defender Larry Powers, appointed by the court, did not have much to say and agreed with the judge's decision that probable cause existed to detain Ramos on the murder charge.

Elsewhere in DeBary, deputies recovered the dumped property that was removed from the home in the staged burglary - computers and other electronics including a Playstation 4, a rifle and other items. "He was a soulless individual who thought he was the smartest person in the room", Chitwood said. "She was such a small lady", Turner said.

Sgt. A.J. Pagliari, with the Sheriff's Major Case Unit, said at a press conference that the teen confessed to the crime after his two friends came clean, which led to them being charged with accessory to first-degree murder. "All our hearts break for this family", Chitwood tweeted on Saturday.

He described the boy as appearing "very proud of what he did" during his re-telling of the events.

The next morning, Ramos went to school and called police after he came home that afternoon to report that his mom was missing, the house had been ransacked and her van was still running in the driveway.