Edwin Ramos was convicted today of killing a San Francisco man and his two sons. The Superior Court jury, after a week of deliberation, found him guilty on three counts of first degree murder.
The three-month-long trial stemmed from the June 2008 shootings of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. They were gunned down in afternoon daylight as they drove home through the Excelsior neighborhood.
Prosecutors accused Ramos, a 25-year-old alleged MS-13 gang member, of killing the trio because he had mistaken them for rival gang members who had wounded his friend earlier that day. Ramos' defense team argued that the actual shooter was the man sitting in the passenger seat of Ramos' car, Wilfredo Reyes, a high-ranking member of the gang who has reportedly since left town and did not testify at the trial.
"Few cases have captivated the people of San Francisco as much as the
senseless murders of members of the Bologna family," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement today. "Today's guilty verdicts ensure that defendant Ramos will
never be released from prison."
The prosecution was unable to produce a murder weapon or ballistics tests. Much of their case leaned on the testimony of Bologna's 21-year-old son Andrew, who was in the car but survived the shooting.
Prosecutor's also noted Ramos' criminal history. As the Chronicle reports, Ramos "was identified as one of three alleged MS-13 members who beat up a man on a Muni bus in the Mission District in 2003," and in 2004, "he assaulted a pregnant woman and her brother, and was sentenced to the city's Log Cabin Ranch for felony attempted robbery."
Even though Ramos, who is originally from El Salvador, was an undocumented immigrant, the Juvenile Probation Department did not report him to federal authorities, because of its policy at the time to not turn over undocumented minors. Then-mayor Gavin Newsom reversed the policy in 2008, soon after Ramos was charged.
The defense argued that Ramos had mostly turned away from gang life since then. He only linked up with MS-13 members to sell them drugs, his lawyers claimed.
Ramos faces a maximum sentence of life without parole. He will be sentenced on June 4.