Edwin Ramos takes stand in triple-murder trial


Ramos was on the stand all day. His mannerisms seemed a bit odd, smiling every time he answered a question. His lawyer, Marla Zamora, was obviously concerned about that because at one point in the trial she asked him why he smiled so much, and replied that he smiles a lot when he's "nervous and under a lot of stress."

It has been an extraordinary trial regarding a horrible crime that nearly wiped out an entire family four years ago. The prosecution has called more than 100 witnesses and produced 500 pieces of evidence. The potential jury pool consisted of some 1,300 people.

The prosecution has accused Ramos of shooting to death Tony Bologna and his two sons in the Excelsior District of San Francisco on June 22, 2008. They say Ramos was a member of a group that's affiliated with the violent Latin American gang MS-13 and that he mistook one of the sons for a rival gang member as he drove by Bologna's car.

Another son in the car was not injured and testified as the prosecution's star witness. He identified Ramos as the shooter.

Ramos claims another gang member in his car fired the gun and that he never knew there would be a shooting.

Monday in court, Zamora led her client slowly through his childhood, setting up the case that he was abused by his mother and moved from relative to relative until he finally ran away and joined the 20th Street Gang at the age of 16. Ramos claims he got out of the gang before the shooting and that he was only giving the shooter nicknamed "Flaco" a ride that day.

It's a legal risk calling a defendant to testify on his own behalf. District Attorney George Gascon believes it really doesn't matter in this case.

"We feel very comfortable with our case. Secondly, we're not surprised that he's testifying," Gascon said. "Thirdly, our case has consisted of… we've presented nearly 100 witnesses, we have presented over 500 pieces of evidence."

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