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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Edwin Ramos guilty of killing SF man and his sons


14:28 |

Gangbanger with a long gang history was convicted Wednesday of the mistaken-identity murders of a San Francisco father and his two sons, the culmination of one of the most notorious crimes in the city in recent years. Edwin Ramos, 25, at first was still as the San Francisco Superior Court jury returned guilty verdicts on three first-degree murder counts in the killings of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Soon, however, he began to cry. Tony Bologna's widow, Danielle, who was in court for most of the trial, wept throughout the session and sobbed hardest when the court clerk read the names of her husband and sons. "Yes, yes, God," she cried as she heard the verdicts. Her son, Andrew Bologna, now 21, was the only survivor of the shootings in the Excelsior neighborhood on a bright Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2008. Tony Bologna was driving his sons home from a family gathering in Fairfield when, prosecutors said, Ramos mistook at least one of the young men for a Mission District gang rival and fired from another car. "He didn't get me," Andrew Bologna whispered to his mother in consolation Wednesday. 'Justice' shirts Several members of the Bologna family, including Danielle and Andrew, wore white T-shirts with "Finally justice is served" on the front and the victims' names on the back. Outside court, Tony Bologna's mother, Lena Bologna, cried as she said, "All I kiss at night are the pictures of my son and my two grandsons." The jury heard three months of testimony before beginning deliberations May 2. Ramos faces a maximum term of life in state prison without parole when he is sentenced June 4. The case first drew widespread attention for its random brutality. It became a national story when The Chronicle reported that city juvenile-justice officials relying on San Francisco's sanctuary-city policy had twice shielded Ramos, a suspected illegal immigrant from El Salvador, from possible deportation after he committed gang-related crimes as a minor. Gunning for a rival Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman, the lead prosecutor on the case, portrayed Ramos as a seemingly charming but cold-blooded killer who shot the Bolognas in a misguided attempt to avenge a compatriot in the MS-13 gang. The friend had been shot and wounded earlier that day. With no murder weapon or ballistics tests to link Ramos to the shootings, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of Andrew Bologna. He said the family had almost gotten home from the Fairfield gathering when Ramos blocked their car at Congdon and Maynard streets with his Chrysler 300, then rolled alongside and opened fire. Ramos' legal team, headed by Marla Zamora, said he had left gang life and associated with MS-13 members only to sell them drugs. Zamora said Ramos was the fall guy for the real killer, Wilfredo "Flaco" Reyesruano, the now-vanished leader of a faction of the MS-13 gang. Ramos, who took the stand in his own defense, testified that he had been driving Reyesruano to the hospital to visit their wounded gang friend but had gotten lost in the Excelsior trying to find the freeway. When they encountered the Bolognas, he said, Reyesruano yelled gang epithets and, without warning, opened fire. Jury hung on 2 counts Besides the murder counts, the jury convicted Ramos of the attempted murder of Andrew Bologna, along with various firearms and gang enhancements. However, the panel hung on a murder conspiracy count, as well as a charge accusing Ramos of firing into an occupied vehicle. That indicates "there was a question in the mind of at least one juror" on those counts, Dorfman noted. "But because Andrew Bologna told the police right away what he saw, told this jury what he saw, I was comfortable absolutely presenting his testimony that he saw Mr. Ramos fire the gun." Jurors left the Hall of Justice without commenting.


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