The trial of an alleged MS-13 gang member accused in the 2008 fatal shootings of a father and his two sons in San Francisco’s Excelsior District could be delayed or even moved out of the city if motions discussed by the prosecution and defense in court today are granted by a judge.
Edwin Ramos, 24, was arrested three days after the killings of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, near the intersection of Maynard and Congdon streets on June 22, 2008.
Ramos, an El Sobrante resident, was charged with three counts of murder and multiple special allegations, including gang membership, firearm use and multiple murders. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The Bologna family had been driving from a family picnic in Fairfield to their home in the Excelsior when they came upon another car, allegedly driven by Ramos.
A surviving son who was in the Bolognas’ car testified at Ramos’ preliminary hearing in 2009 that he saw Ramos flash a gun from inside the partly opened window of the other car and begin “mugging” at them before shots were fired.
Ramos has admitted to driving the car but told investigators that another man inside the car fired the shots.
Two other alleged MS-13 members had been wounded in a shooting in the Mission District earlier that day, and prosecutors have speculated that the Bolognas were mistaken for rival gang members.
At a hearing in San Francisco Superior Court today on pretrial motions in the case, prosecutor Harry Dorfman said he is considering asking Judge Charles Haines to delay the trial due to a federal trial involving other members of the MS-13 gang, which has roots in El Salvador and Southern California.
Several members of the gang are accused of racketeering conspiracy, murder conspiracy and murder in a case currently being tried in federal court in San Francisco.
San Francisco prosecutors are looking at transcripts from the federal case for possible relevance in Ramos’ case, and a hearing is scheduled for June 24 to determine whether his trial should be delayed while they look at the documents, Dorfman said.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Marla Zamora said she is considering asking Haines to move the case out of San Francisco because of the attention the case has received from local media.
The murders made national headlines because of the city’s sanctuary policy, which required that undocumented juvenile offenders not be reported to federal immigration authorities.
Ramos had numerous contacts with San Francisco police for drug and violent crimes as a juvenile, but was not reported to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Following the murders, the city changed the policy and began reporting juvenile offenders.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News