Suspects in killing of Hialeah dentist appear in court

Charges upgraded to murder after victim’s death

Police say Ralph Benjamin (left) shot Carmen Ramirez multiple times outside her Hialeah dental office. An investigation revealed that Hector Ledesma (right) was the getaway driver. Ramirez is the star witness in the upcoming trial for Ledesma's brother. (WPLG)

MIAMI – Two suspects in the killing of a Hialeah dentist appeared in Miami-Dade County courtroom Saturday.

According to a Hialeah police report, Ralph Benjamin shot Carmen Ramirez multiple times on the stairwell leading to her dental office on East 41st Street in November.

Hialeah police Sgt. Ibel Perez confirmed Thursday that Ramirez succumbed to her wounds.

Police said surveillance video revealed that Hector Ledesma was the getaway driver after Benjamin fired the ultimately fatal shots.

Both Benhamin and Ledesma went before a judge Saturday, with charges upgraded to murder due to the death of Ramirez.

An investigation determined that Ledesma is the brother of Jose Ledesma, who is facing three to five years in prison if convicted of identity theft. The victim in that 2015 case was Ramirez, who was set to testify in his trial.

Police said Ledesma defrauded Ramirez out of more than $40,000.

Investigators determined that Benjamin and Ledesma purchased one-way tickets to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Ramirez lives, the day after the shooting.

Both men were taken into custody as they prepared to board a plane at Miami International Airport and have been in jail without bond since their arrests.

They were originally charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.