Attorneys for Dodgers beating suspect Giovanni Ramirez said Tuesday he did not have a shaved head -- as the suspects are described -- at the time of the Dodger Stadium opening day assault on a Giants fan, and they offered this as another reason reason Ramirez could not have been the assailant described by witnesses.
Anthony Brooklier and Jose Romero, now representing Ramirez, told NBC LA they are seeking photographic and video evidence of Ramirez's appearance on March 31, the date of the near-fatal attack that hospitalized off-duty paramedic Bryan Stow, 42, with severe head injuries. Stow remains in critical condition and has yet to regain full consciousness.
Ramirez advocates previously have said they've spoken to witnesses who insist that the evening in question, Ramirez was not at Dodger Stadium, but in East Hollywood with individuals including his 10-year-old daughter and a girlfriend who had just arrived from Las Vegas.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said investigators believe Ramirez is Suspect No. 1 of the two suspects depicted in the widely circulated wanted poster with likenesses based on witness description.
Romero said Ramirez has periodically shaved his head, but had let it grow back in March, and did not shave it again until "a day or two" after the opening day attack. Ramirez's head appeared shaven on the day of his arrest, and he also appears with a shaven head in a mug shot from a previous encounter with the criminal justice system.
A source close to the defense team told NBC LA they hope to get visual evidence from a security camera at the motel in East Hollywood where Ramirez and his girlfriend spent the night of March 31.
Ramirez attorneys have been pursuing evidence on several several fronts in a bid to convince authorities not to prosecute him. They are also seeking cellphone records, which can approximate where a phone is located at the time calls are made or received.
The District Attorney has yet to make a filing decision more than a week after Ramirez was arrested at a Mariposa Avenue apartment where he was staying. He'd been brought to the attention
of LAPD investigators by his parole agent, who recognized a resemblance to the likeness of Suspect No. 1 in the wanted poster. Ramirez has at least two prior felony convictions.
Last Wednesday, on the day of a suspect line-up with Ramirez, his attorneys raised the possibility of Ramirez taking a polygraph exam, also known as a lie detector test. Since then they have declined to discuss polygraph specifics, citing an agreement with the DA's office not to discuss it publicly. The results of the suspect line-up have also not been made public.
It is not uncommon for criminal suspects to encourage their attorneys to arrange a polygraph exam, according to noted polygraph examiner Jack Trimarco, former head of the FBI's Los Angeles polygraph unit.
Apart from the cost, which can run up to $2,500, the suspect has nothing to lose.
If he passes, and especially if there is corroborating exculpatory evidence, authorities may choose not to prosecute. And even if he fails, the jury never finds out because polygraphs are not admissible as evidence in criminal court.
Suspects have been cleared through polygraph exams, but it does not happen often.
"Four out of five people that I polygraph fail," said Trimarco.
Brooklier said Ramirez insists he has never been to Dodger Stadium. The San Francisco Examiner reports that among Ramirez's tattoos is an LA Dodgers logo. Brooklier said he was not aware of this and could not comment.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has acknowledged detectives need to do further investigation, but said they still consider Ramirez to be the primary suspect. He remains at Central Jail, held for an alleged parole violation of not reporting his true address.
Tuesday night, KCBS reported that authorities in Henderson, Nev., following up a January shooting incident as an attempted murder, are seeking a suspect identified as Giovanny Ramirez with the same birthdate as Giovanni Ramirez.