Accused killer passes blame on murders

June 23, 2009 2:14:29 PM PDT
The alleged gang member accused in the 2008 triple murder of a San Francisco man and two of his sons admitted to police after his arrest that he drove the car used in the shooting, but pinned the actual shooting on another man, a homicide inspector testified in court Tuesday.

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San Francisco police Inspector Tom Newland said that after initially denying any involvement in the June 22, 2008, shootings of three members of the Bologna family, Edwin Ramos changed his story.

"He said he was there, and that he was the driver of the vehicle," Newland said.

Later, under cross-examination, Newland testified that Ramos added, "I wasn't the one who shot anyone."

Ramos then implicated another man in the car, Wilfredo Reyesruano, nicknamed "Flaco," as the shooter.

"He told me that Flaco was the person who did the shooting," Newland said.

Ramos, an alleged member of the MS-13 street gang, is accused in the murders of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Police have said the they may have been mistaken for rival gang members when a car pulled up to their car in the 200 block of Congdon Street and someone inside opened fire.

Ramos' attorney Marla Zamora has said that her client "did not shoot anyone," and is not a gang member.

Testimony in the San Francisco Superior Court preliminary hearing for Ramos, now 22, is in its seventh day.

Ramos at first claimed he had read about the killings in the newspaper, and said he was teased by coworkers because his Chrysler 300 was similar to the one described in news reports as the suspect vehicle, Newland testified Monday.

Newland said the conversation with Ramos took place about three days after the Excelsior District shooting during an interrogation at San Francisco police headquarters, after Ramos was arrested at his El Sobrante home and his Chrysler 300 was seized.

He added today that after Ramos identified Reyesruano as the gunman, Newland obtained a search warrant for Reyesruano's home in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood.

However, Reyesruano was never found, according to Newland.

Zamora had earlier objected to Ramos' statements being admitted into the court record, claiming this morning that the statements were coerced after a 12-hour interrogation during which he had nothing to eat and only water to drink, she said.

"His whole statement becomes suspect, your honor, because of the conditions in which he was kept," Zamora told Judge Teri Jackson. Prosecutor Harry Dorfman disputed that claim and said there was no evidence Ramos had not been offered food or that he had complained about the conditions he was in.

"Based on the testimony so far, I have not heard anything that is the result of coercion," Jackson agreed, denying Zamora's motion to strike the statement, but allowing that she would take any new evidence into consideration.

Newland later testified that Ramos was given breakfast and lunch, and that the interrogation was not continuous, but included substantial break periods.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to last at least through Wednesday, after which Jackson will determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold Ramos for trial on the charges.

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