Sentencing was delayed today for Edwin Ramos, an alleged MS-13 gang member convicted last month of murdering a father and two of his sons in San Francisco, but the victims' family members got a chance to address Ramos in court this morning.
Ramos, 25, was convicted May 9 of three counts of first-degree murder for a shooting that killed Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, near Congdon and Maynard streets on June 22, 2008.
Prosecutors contended that Ramos shot the family members after mistaking them for rival gang members.
He was set to be sentenced this morning, but his defense attorney Marla Zamora asked for a delay because of a family emergency, and San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charles Haines rescheduled the hearing for next Monday.
However, Haines allowed members of the Bologna family to speak about how they were affected by the murders.
Danielle Bologna, the wife and mother of the victims, was the first to speak and addressed Ramos directly.
"I wish just once you would take responsibility for your role in this incident," she said.
"I lost my family, my life in San Francisco and our house and all the memories we shared in our home," she said. "My pain is so deep you can't even imagine."
"Nani" Bologna, the 14-year-old daughter and sister of the victims, also addressed the court, describing having to see her brother taken off of life support at the hospital after the shooting and mentioning Ramos' own young daughter.
"I hate you with all my heart and know that your daughter will know that her father is a murderer," she said. "I hope when she is 14 she will know how much I lost for the rest of my life."
Ramos asked to speak following the family's statements, but Haines denied the request, saying he would consider letting him speak at next week's hearing.
The charges of which Ramos was convicted included gang enhancements and special circumstances that he committed multiple murders, and that the murders were willful and premeditated, making him eligible for life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He was also convicted of attempted murder because another son, Andrew Bologna, was in the car but escaped injury in the shooting. Andrew testified during the trial that Ramos was the shooter and the only person he saw in the car.
However, the jury deadlocked on whether Ramos actually fired the shots. He testified during the months-long trial that he was driving his car from which another man, Wilfredo "Flaco" Reyes, shot the Bolognas. Reyes remains at large.
Ramos' attorneys spoke outside of court following this morning's hearing, saying they plan to file a request for a new trial after having uncovered what they said is possible juror misconduct, although they declined to discuss specifics.
Defense attorney Andrea Lindsay said "there was mass confusion in the jury room," and that the attorneys have spoken to two of the jurors after the fact who "said they regret convicting him of first-degree murder."
Several of the jurors attended this morning's hearing, including the jury foreman, John S., who declined to give his last name.
He would not talk about the jury's deliberations, but said "we made sure we followed the judge's instructions," although he acknowledged it was "kind of hard keeping track of everything" during a trial that lasted about four months.
Prosecutor Harry Dorfman also spoke outside of court following today's hearing. He said he is confident that Ramos will receive the life sentence next week.
"The sentence required by law is life without the possibility of parole, and that's the sentence I expect to be handed down," Dorfman said.