A 63-year-old woman has been sentenced to 18 years to life in prison after being convicted for fatally shooting a store owner in San Carlos 30 years ago, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Rayna Hoffman-Ramos was arrested last year for the fatal shooting of Shu Ming Tang, who owned the Devonshire Little Store, on April 26, 1993.
Hoffman-Ramos entered a no contest plea to second-degree murder with an enhancement for use of a firearm in September in exchange for the 18-year sentence, which was handed down at a hearing Thursday, according to the county District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators obtained a journal in which Hoffman-Ramos expressed regret for the killing and that led to her arrest in Oklahoma in March 2022. Prosecutors said her husband had instructed her on how to use a handgun to commit a robbery at the store, but Tang resisted and was fatally shot during a struggle.
Hoffman-Ramos ran out of the store and fled with her husband and remained at large for nearly three decades. The case garned national attention and was featured on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”
Prosecutors said that at Thursday’s hearing, the victim’s daughter provided a letter that was read into the record and Hoffman-Ramos apologized to the victim’s family members before being sentenced to the 18 years to life term with 915 days credit for time served.
Her defense attorney Paul DeMeester said the victim’s family presented Hoffman-Ramos with a small Bible as a gift and she graciously accepted it.
“It was a very touching moment in court,” DeMeester said.
He said his client was facing a capital case at first and then a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
“By entering the plea agreement, she has light at the end of the tunnel … and hope for her to see the outside again,” DeMeester said.