The victim of a shooting that allegedly precipitated a triple murder in San Francisco in 2008 testified today that Edwin Ramos, the accused killer, was still an active member of the MS-13 gang at the time.
Ramos, 25, is charged with fatally shooting 48-year-old Anthony Bologna and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, in the city’s Excelsior District on June 22, 2008.
Prosecutors allege the shooting was in retaliation for a shooting that injured Marvin Medina, 25, a fellow MS-13 gang member, earlier that day and that Ramos mistook the Bolognas for rival gang members.
Defense attorney Marla Zamora has admitted that Ramos was once a member of MS-13 but left the gang in 2006.
Zamora said in her opening statements in the trial that another gang member, Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes, was the shooter from a car that Ramos was driving. Reyes remains at large.
Medina testified today in the trial, recounting through a Spanish translator his first meeting with Ramos some time in 2007 when Medina was “jumped in” to the Pasadena Locos Surenos, a clique of the MS-13 gang.
Medina said hours after the initiation ritual, in which a group of gang members beat up a new member for 13 seconds, Ramos drove him to San Francisco to show him some of the gang’s territory.
“He had a great history in San Francisco and everyone would talk about him,” Medina said.
Ramos’ estranged brother-in-law, Abraham Martinez, testified earlier this month that Ramos was formerly part of the San Francisco-based 20th Street clique of MS-13 but told him he “jumped in” to the East Bay-based PLS clique because it was more violent.
Medina also described today the shooting that injured him earlier on June 22, 2008 in the city’s Mission District.
He said men in two cars followed him through the neighborhood, then one vehicle pulled up beside him where someone opened fire, striking him in the left buttock.
Medina said Reyes, who he described as Ramos’ best friend, was the first person he called following the shooting.
Medina was granted immunity at the start of his testimony today for any potentially incriminating evidence provided in “truthful answers” he gives, prosecutor Harry Dorfman said.
The granting of immunity comes after he was convicted of three felony counts of perjury in 2009 for testimony he gave during the preliminary hearing in Ramos’ case earlier that year.
Medina testified at that hearing that he was not a MS-13 gang member and that he did not know Ramos, but when prosecutors moved to have him examined for a prominent “MS” tattoo emblazoned on his back, he finally admitted he had been a member.
He was sentenced to three years’ probation for the perjury charges, and has said he is no longer a member of the gang.
Medina’s testimony will continue in the trial on Thursday morning.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News