WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The mother of a toddler whose father is charged with murdering him is now suing a Virginia doctor and a psychological professional group in Ashburn for its handling of the case.
Dr. Margaret Wang told the judge that Joaquin Rams was safe to have unsupervised visits. It was during one of those visits, that 15-month-old Prince was fatally injured.
"It's my understanding that he took my son, he stripped off all his clothes and he held him under water until he died," said Hera McLeod, the mother of Prince Rams who was fatally injured on October 20, 2012. The boy was pronounced dead from his brain injuries the following day at Fairfax Inova Hospital. Prince had just learned to say the word "ball" when he was killed.
Last month, the boy's father, Joaquin Rams of Manassas was charged with first degree murder in the boy's drowning death at Ram's Manassas home. Rams has been a murder suspect before.
"Mr. Rams has a long history of violence. He was a suspect in connection with the 2003 death of his girlfriend. He was a suspect in the 2008 death of his mother," said Patrick Regan, McLeod's attorney. Regan says Rams never held a job and was living off the life insurance proceeds from his mother's death, which was ruled a suicide by suffocation. Rams had taken out an insurance policy on little Prince.
"He took out $550,000 of life insurance on a 15 month old child. That is not something a normal person does," said Regan.
"When I first saw him, I did have a strange feeling," said McLeod about the first time she saw Rams after meeting him at an online dating site in 2010.
McLeod says she at first believed the lies Rams told about his life. That is, until he raped her sister, she says. McLeod fled to Maryland with Prince. Then, in September, Montgomery County Judge Michael Algeo granted Joaquin Rams unsupervised visits with Prince.
"Mr. Rams walked into the Ashburn Psychological Services and he essentially paid them to ignore evidence and to lie for him," said McLeod.
McLeod has filed a $20 million lawsuit against both the Ashburn Psychological Services and Dr. Margaret Wong, who evaluated Joaquin Rams. Neither Wong nor the center's owner would return our calls. But McLeod says the judge relied on the doctor's negligent finding that Rams was safe to have unsupervised visits with Prince.
"He was a psychopath and there was a long trail of evidence, all of which was ignored," said Regan.
McLeod says, it's not about the money but about saving others.
Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert says those other two deaths connected to Joaquin Rams, his mother's and his former girlfriend's, are both still under investigation. As for the murder of Prince Rams, there is a possibility that capital charges could be added to make Rams eligible for the death penalty.