A man accused of fatally shooting a father and two sons in San Francisco in the summer of 2008 was grilled on the witness stand by a prosecutor in his second day of testimony on his own behalf in the high-profile murder trial.
Edwin Ramos, 25, of El Sobrante, is charged with murdering Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, the afternoon of June 22, 2008, at Congdon and Maynard streets in the city’s Excelsior District.
Ramos began testifying on Monday under questioning by his attorney Marla Zamora, and faced cross-examination by Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman starting late this morning.
Prosecutors allege that Ramos fatally shot the Bolognas after mistaking them for rival gang members. Ramos was an MS-13 gang member but said he quit the gang in 2006.
Dorfman’s questions initially focused on the various versions of events that Ramos gave to police after his arrest on June 25, 2008.
Ramos admitted, “I don’t know how many stories I’ve told.”
After initially claiming he was at home in El Sobrante at the time of the shootings, Ramos eventually admitted to police that he was driving the Chrysler 300 that the shots were fired from, but claimed his friend Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes was the shooter.
Reyes, a member of the MS-13 clique “Pasadena Locos Surenos,” remains at large. Witnesses brought forward by defense attorneys have indicated that he fled to South Carolina after the shooting.
When Dorfman continued his questioning this afternoon, he asked Ramos about his ties to the gang, as well as his experience selling cocaine in the months before the murders.
The prosecutor went through a list of contacts from Ramos’ cellphone, pointing out that Reyes and other MS-13 members were among those who contacted Ramos most frequently in the weeks prior to the shootings.
Ramos insisted that those gang members were merely his friends and that he was no longer a member of MS-13.
Ramos did admit to selling cocaine after the birth of his daughter in July 2007 to financially support her.
“Everyone knew I was selling drugs,” he said. “It wasn’t like it was secret.”
At the close of his testimony under Zamora’s questioning earlier this morning, Ramos expressed remorse for what happened to the Bolognas while maintaining that he was merely driving the car that the shots were fired from and had gotten lost in the neighborhood.
“I felt bad,” he said. “If I had just turned on the right street, these people wouldn’t have died.”
Andrew Bologna, a third son who was in the car with his family that day and survived the shooting, testified earlier in the trial that Ramos was the gunman and was the only person in the Chrysler.
Andrew’s mother, Danielle Bologna, was one of many people watching the trial unfold in a crowded courtroom today.
The killings brought national attention to San Francisco’s sanctuary policy, which shielded undocumented juveniles suspected of crimes from being reported to federal immigration agents.
Ramos had numerous contacts with police in connection with violent incidents as a juvenile, but was not reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The city changed its policy after the murders. Danielle Bologna sued the city over the policy but a judge later dismissed the suit.
Dorfman will continue his cross-examination of Ramos on Wednesday morning.
The Ramos trial has lasted for more than three months, starting with jury selection in early January. The trial is being held in a courtroom outfitted with a metal detector and bulletproof glass.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News