brian porras sentenced
BEACON PHOTO/ELI WITEK Brian Porras, at left in red, faces Judge Elizabeth Blackburn at a sentencing hearing July 8. Now 21, Porras was 17-years-old in November 2018 when he helped 15-year-old Gregory Ramos stage a burglary in an attempt to cover up the fact that Ramos had strangled his mother, Gail Cleavenger, to death the night before. Porras is accompanied by his lawyer, Kendell Ali. Members of Gail Cleavenger’s family sit in the front row, behind the state prosecutors table.

Editor’s note: This is an extremely abbreviated version of a much longer story that will appear next week in The Beacon‘s July 21-27 edition.

It’s been more than three-and-half years since Gregory Ramos, then age 15, strangled his mother and buried her under a fire pit behind a church in DeBary. The next day, he enlisted two of his 17-year-old friends, Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, to help stage a burglary to cover up his crime. Ramos is currently serving 45 years in state prison on the count of first-degree murder.

Finally, on July 8, the last case in this tragic saga appeared to reach a conclusion, in an emotional two-and-half-hour sentencing of the last boy, Brian Porras, now age 21.

For the first time, evidence in the murder of Gail Cleavenger was heard publicly at the Porras sentencing, as the lawyers made arguments and called witnesses before the judge to argue for a harsher, or lighter, sentence.

Ultimately, Judge Elizabeth Blackburn sentenced Porras to 364 days in the Volusia County Branch Jail and 14 years of probation for his role in the crime. He pleaded no contest to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, and the judge withheld a finding of guilt, meaning Porras will not be a convicted felon.

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