Edwin Ramos, the 25-year-old convicted on three counts of first degree murder, will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
This morning, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charles Haines sentenced him to three consecutive life terms, without the possibility of parole.
This comes about a month after a San Francisco jury found Ramos guilty of killing Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, in June 2008. The prosecution claimed that Ramos, an alleged MS-13 gang member, shot them because he mistook them for rival gang members as their cars crossed paths.
The shooting occurred in the afternoon, as the Bolognas drove through the Mission district on the way to their Excelsior home.
A fourth person in the car, Bologna's 21-year-old son Andrew, survived the shooting and provided the key testimony of the three-month trial. He identified Ramos in court, which was especially significant because the prosecution had no murder weapon, ballistics tests, or any other physical evidence.
In his testimony, Ramos maintained that while he was driving the car, the real shooter was an MS-13 gang member named Wilfredo Reyes, who he says was in the passenger seat. Reyes reportedly left town and did not testify at the trial.
Although the jury convicted Ramos on the first degree murder charges, it hung on the charge of whether he actually fired the gun. His attorney, Marla Zamora, is seeking a retrial, claiming unspecified jury misconduct.
The case has been high-profile because of its seemingly random nature, but also because Ramos, who is originally from El Salvador, was an undocumented immigrant. He had been convicted of assault in 2004, and involved in another assault in 2003. The Juvenile Probation Department did not report him to federal authorities, because of its policy not to turn over undocumented minors. Then-Mayor Gavin Newsom reversed the policy in 2008, soon after Ramos was charged.