The Kern County Coroner released the cause of death Wednesday for a Shafter woman who died after she was robbed in a parking lot. It classifies Guadalupe Ramos' death as a homicide.
The Coroner's office said Ramos died from a heart attack as a result of the robbery.
The man arrested for her death has not been charged with her murder. However, a defense attorney told 17 News that may change as a result of the autopsy report.
The death investigation stems from an assault at the Foods Co. on Haley Street in Bakersfield. Authorities say on Sunday, August 19th around 7 p.m. Guadalupe Ramos was robbed and fell. She died about an hour later.
The man, police say, committed the robbery, Maxamillon McDonald, was arrested. The District Attorney, however, rejected a potential murder charge. But, that was before the cause of death report was released Wednesday.
"The doctor, after going through and looking at her heart and doing some microscopic exams, looked at it and determined that the traumatic event of being robbed led to her heart attack which led to her death," said Commander Dennis Smithson, Kern County Coroner's Office.
Therefore, the office says the manner of death is homicide.
"Our definition of a homicide simply means 'death at the hands of another.' Whether that's a prosecutable case or the D.A. wants to charge on that, is a completely different level of information proof," said Smithson.
The District Attorney's Office said it cannot comment on the case until it sees the report. A local defense attorney, however, thinks a murder charge will follow.
"If the causative agent of death flowed from the robbery, that's murder," said Kyle Humphrey.
Humphrey said this is the worst case scenario for the alleged assailant. "Going from a position of someone who simply mugs old women and steals their property, he's now potentially looking at being a murderer," he said.
The Coroner's office pointed out that Ramos did have heart trouble prior to the attack. "She had some underlying medical conditions, but as far as how much longer she could have lived without a traumatic emotional event like this, I don't know," said Smithson.
The Coroner's office said it rarely investigates this type of death.
Maxamillon McDonald is set to appear in court on unrelated robbery charges next Wednesday.