MEDINA: Gavon Ramsay never raised his head in court Wednesday, even after a guard plucked a tissue out of a nearby box and handed it to the 17-year-old as a judge explained how Ramsay could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

The skinny boy with short brown hair — who faces murder charges for allegedly killing his 98-year-old neighbor in Wadsworth April 6 — appeared at the Medina County Juvenile Court hearing via closed-circuit monitor from the juvenile detention center about two miles away.

It was not clear on the courtroom television whether Ramsay was crying. He stood slumped forward at a microphone next to his public defender, hiding his mouth and chin inside the stretched-out neck of a long-sleeved undershirt he wore beneath a green jail outfit.

The Wadsworth High School junior denied all charges against him through his attorney.

Media were prohibited from filming or taking pictures of Ramsay on Wednesday because he is charged as a juvenile — charges the prosecution is seeking to bump up to adult charges in common pleas court.

The Beacon Journal, which usually does not name juveniles charged in crimes, is choosing to name Ramsay because of the seriousness of the allegations. He faces murder, burglary and abuse of a corpse charges, all felonies, in the death of Margaret Frick Douglas, a widow who was killed in the gray-sided house on Portage Street where she had lived since at least 1958.

Ramsay lived with his family in a brown stucco home five houses away on Summit Street, where Portage Street dead-ends.

If it wasn’t for trees and garages blocking the view, Ramsay could have seen Douglas’ backyard from his house.

For the first time, it was revealed in court Wednesday that police believe Ramsay killed Douglas on April 6, three days before neighbors notified one of Douglas’ nephews that something may be wrong because they hadn’t seen Douglas.

The nephew, who lives in Stark County, reported her missing April 9. Police overlooked Douglas’ body during their first walk-through of her house, which she never locked. Nothing looked out of place. Officers thought they were investigating a missing persons case.

Hours later, they found Douglas’ body hidden in a closet under clothing. Police have said they believe she was strangled.

Ramsay was among several suspects early on, police said. He had previous run-ins with Wadsworth police over vandalism and other nonviolent crimes a couple of years ago and more recently was a suspect in a string of car break-ins in the neighborhood that happened in the weeks before Douglas’ slaying.

When questioned in recent days, Ramsay fessed up to the petty crimes, police said. He denied, however, being involved with Douglas’ death. Police later discovered that Ramsay had Douglas’ wallet and made plans for his arrest Monday.

In court Wednesday, Judge Kevin Dunn granted two prosecution requests, ordering Ramsay to submit a DNA sample and to have no contact with either the nephew who watched over Douglas or the nephew’s wife.

Ramsay’s parents, Christine and Steve Ramsay, sat at a table behind their son during Wednesday’s court hearing, at times looking puzzled or pensive, as if they wanted to intervene.

It appears the family has lived in the same house on Summit Street since about 2007, based on court records. Gavon Ramsay is the couple’s second-eldest child, one of four boys and the oldest still living at home, according to the family’s social media accounts.

On Facebook, Gavon Ramsay belongs to Facebook groups dedicated to parkour running (using urban landscape for improvised exercise) in Akron, woodworking tips and cars for sale in Ohio. He liked the Bible, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the teen best-seller The Hunger Games.

He occasionally posted his thoughts or pictures for public view, most recently on Dec. 29. He uploaded a 360 degree panoramic view of a frozen, snow-covered lake alongside a picture showing someone standing alone at the end of a short, wooden pier staring across the ice.

He never mentioned his 81-year-old grandfather’s death on March 15.

The family held a viewing for U.S. Army veteran Glen “Buck” Ramsay five days later at Wadsworth’s Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home before burial at the nearby Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

Margaret Douglas, the widow of a U.S. Army veteran who fought in World War II, was killed 17 days later.

This week, her family, too, will host a viewing at Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home.

And Monday, Margaret Douglas will be buried alongside her husband, Donald Douglas, at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

Amanda Garrett can be reached at 330-996-3725 or agarrett@thebeaconjournal.com.