General Crime

* DA Kamala Harris Won’t Seek Death Penalty Against Accused Triple Murderer Edwin Ramos

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UPDATE Click Here May 4, 2011 MS-13 alleged gang members Davie Mejia-Sensente,Mejia-Quintanilla and Luis Amilar-Zanas indicted for murder of Alexander Temaj-Castanon

An attorney for the family of three people killed in a shooting in San Francisco’s Excelsior District last year said today the family has beentold by District Attorney Kamala Harris that she will not seek the death penalty in the case. Attorney Matthew Davis said Harris met Wednesday with Danielle Bologna, the wife of Tony Bologna, 48, and the mother of 20-year-old Michael and 16-year-old Matthew Bologna, who were killed in the shooting on June 22, 2008. The shooting occurred as the family was driving home from a Sunday picnic in Fairfield. Police and prosecutors have said the Bologna family was likely mistaken for rival gang members by the alleged shooter, Edwin Ramos, 22, of El Sobrante. Ramos, an alleged member of the MS-13 gang, faces three counts of murder for the killings and one count of attempted murder, for another son who was not hit and survived. Davis said Danielle Bologna had wanted Ramos to face the death penalty. “My client had urged (Harris) to seek the death penalty and is very disappointed that she’s not, but she appreciates at least that Ms. Harris explained her decision in a face-to-face meeting,” Davis said. Ramos is also charged with three special-circumstance allegations of murder in furtherance of a gang, shooting from a vehicle, and multiple murders. Bologna and his sons were driving home from the picnic when they encountered a Chrysler 300 allegedly driven by Ramos at a stop sign in the 200 block of Congdon Street. The surviving son testified at Ramos’ preliminary hearing earlier this year that Ramos’ car at first blocked their path and then pulled alongside their car. He said he saw Ramos glare menacingly at his father before firing several shots into their car. Ramos, who has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, told police another alleged MS-13 member was in his car at the time of the killings and fired the shots. Harris, 44, a Democrat, is now running for attorney general of California. She pledged during her campaign for district attorney in 2003 that she would not seek capital punishment. That stance brought her fierce criticism in 2004 after she declared days after the killing of 29-year-old San Francisco police Officer Isaac Espinoza by a gang member that she would not seek the death penalty in the case. Among the vocal critics of that decision were U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and then-police Chief Heather Fong. Since the Espinoza killing, Harris’ office has changed the way it reviews potential death penalty cases. The office now has a four-person committee, made up of Harris’ chief assistant, the head of the criminal division, the head of the homicide unit, and the attorney prosecuting the case, that consider factors in support of and against the death penalty in each case. They then make a recommendation to Harris.

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