By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — Two Tulsa men, one an alleged drug dealer and the other an admitted drug user, have been ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the heroin overdose death of 29-year-old Jamie Bear at her Perkins apartment in 2019.
“Jamie was beautiful,” her sister, Mary Lobo, told a KUSH reporter during a court recess in a Feb. 25 preliminary hearing.
“Even though she struggled for so long, she would have long periods — one year or two years — when she was sober.
“We’re from Tulsa. She just recently moved to Perkins during her sobriety,” her sister explained.
“Our family always helped her. We didn’t judge her. We just wanted her safe. She got clean that summer,” only months before her death.
“She tried so hard. We were so proud of her — she was such a strong fighter,” her sister said.
But on the day before she died, her boyfriend, James Josiah Ramos, 31, who got out of jail a few days earlier, bought half a gram of heroin for $50 from Noah Reimer Montague, 26, at a convenience store in Tulsa on Sept. 9, 2019, according to his preliminary hearing testimony.
Even though Ramos and his girlfriend, who had dated off and on for eight years, had been clean for months, “We used right there in the parking lot,” after buying syringes at a pharmacy in Tulsa to inject the heroin, he testified.
“I got hazy after that. We went back to Perkins around dinner time. We used (again) before we went to bed about 10 pm,” Ramos testified.
“We’d been sober for so long. It was real intense. I had shallow breathing,” Ramos told Special District Judge Katherine Thomas in the preliminary hearing last week.
When Ramos woke up the next morning, he testified, “I’m still kinda high. Her presence is not there. I started shaking her. I started freaking out. I’m pretty sure I checked her pulse.
‘My hands were shaking. I think I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if she was still alive. We used the night before. We were fine when we went to sleep.
“I called a friend of ours. He said call EMSA. I didn’t know the address,” of her new apartment in Perkins, Ramos testified — admitting he didn’t call 911.
“He said ‘pick up your stuff and leave.’ I left for 5-10 minutes. When I got back, a cop car was there. There was some heroin in the cell phone case,” Ramos testified.
On cross-examination from the alleged drug dealer’s attorney Zack Smith, Ramos admitted he had been convicted of at least 10 felonies including burglary, larceny, domestic violence, passing a forged instrument. “I’m in drug court right now,” Ramos said.
Ramos said he had been addicted to heroin since 2010 or 2011. Before his girlfriend’s death, “She looked healthy and sober,” Ramos testified.
“I loved her. If she was sick, I was sick. It never crossed my mind you can go to sleep and not wake up,” Ramos told the judge.
Perkins Police Chief Bob Ernst testified that on Sept. 10, 2019, “We received a telephone call to go to that address. Nobody came to the door that was unlocked. The back door was standing open. In the northwest upstairs bedroom, we discovered the body of a deceased female covered with a blanket,” who appeared to have died from a drug overdose. He testified that officers had gone to the victim’s apartment for a welfare check based on an anonymous phone call to Perkins City Hall.
DEA agent Andy Dawson, who said he assisted in the investigation in the victim’s death, testified the alleged drug dealer told him “he sold to approximately 10 people.”
Montague “said he sold to Mr. Ramos on Sept. 9, 2019,” the narcotics agent testified — adding that Montague “knew it was dangerous — he had friends who died of overdose.”
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Dane Towery, who prosecuted the Payne County case that was originally filed in Tulsa County, said that the medical examiner’s report showed the cause of the victim’s death as acute heroin toxicity.
Montague was bound over for trial on a first-degree felony murder charge; under state law it is illegal to sell a drug to another that results in the death of a person, an affidavit said. Montague has been ordered to appear for trial court arraignment before Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler on March 16.
Before testifying against Montague, Ramos had waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was ordered to appear before District Judge Phillip Corley on March 12 for trial court arraignment on a second-degree murder charge or in the alternative second-degree manslaughter; under state law it is illegal to provide drugs to another person that results in their death, an affidavit said.
Dealing with the tragic death has been extremely difficult, her sister said. “The thing that holds us together is our faith.”