Man Gets 15 Years to Life in Murder of Army Vet Roommate

Prosecutors said Kwang Choi "KC" Joy was in love with Maribel Ramos and panicked when she asked him to move out of their apartment over a rent dispute, leading to her death.

An Orange man was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison Friday for the 2012 murder of his roommate, a Cal State Fullerton student and Army veteran.

Kwang Choi “KC” Joy, 55, was convicted July 29 of killing 36-year-old Maribel Ramos, whose body was found in Santiago Canyon two weeks after she disappeared.

Joy has maintained his innocence, and at the sentencing hearing did not admit to killing Ramos. He spoke to the court and said he had fond memories of Ramos.

He said he cared for her as much as anyone else and recalled going on walks with their dogs together.

Family members also delivered victim impact statements, and said how much Ramos was missed, and how they felt betrayed by Joy.

"He was in our lives. As a family, we befriended him," cousin Andrea Leonardo said. "He took her away from us. She had such a bright future ahead of her."

Prosecutors said Joy was in love with Ramos, and the two got into a fight after she asked him to move out of their apartment for failing to pay rent. They argued that during the altercation, he killed her.


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The night of her disappearance, she was seen on surveillance video dropping off the rent check and was not seen again.

During his trial, prosecutors showed video of Joy walking into an Orange library branch the same day Ramos’ body was located.

There, his search history revealed he looked up “How long does it take a human body to decay?” as well as the site where Ramos’ body was eventually discovered on Google Earth.

During opening statements, Joy's attorney acknowledged that she had died and his client had "improperly disposed" of her body.

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