Update (4:55 p.m.): The District Attorney announced this afternoon that Wilfredo Reyes will be charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of aiding and abetting in the discharge of a firearm, and one count of participating in a street gang. One count of conspiracy to commit murder will be added to his slew of charges, the DA said. Reyes will be appear in court next on July 24.
"The family is very pleased that Reyes is back and will face justice for the murders," said Danielle Bologna, wife of Anthony and mother of Michael and Matthew.
Original Story (12:40 p.m.) Wilfredo Reyes, the second suspect in a 2008 triple homicide, has been extradited from North Carolina and will be arraigned in San Francisco today, the District Attorney's office announced.
From his first police statement, Ramos claimed that Reyes was the shooter. Ramos has maintained that he was only driving the car, and did not know that Reyes, in the passenger's seat, would fire at the family. Ramos testified that Reyes mistook one of them for a rival gang member, the same motive prosecutors used against Ramos.
Despite Ramos' accusation, and the fact that Reyes left for the East Coast after the shooting, city authorities didn't issue an arrest warrant against him until March, when a witness in Ramos' trial testified that she met Reyes in South Carolina and that Reyes told her he left California because he was the passenger in a drive-by shooting.
"The question with prosecuting him," Bastian said, "was whether we could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, independent of Edwin Ramos' self-serving statements. We obtained that information this year and acted on it immediately."
The DA's office also could have issued a material witness warrant against him, which only requires evidence that Reyes was present in the car. However, prosecutors felt they didn't need Reyes' testimony in their case against Ramos, so that warrant was never issued.
"We never intended to call Reyes for the Ramos trial," says Bastian.
Charging Reyes with co-conspiracy to murder does bring up an interesting twist. The only witness to identify Ramos as the shooter was Andrew Bologna, Tony's then-17-year-old son and the sole survivor of the shooting. Bologna also twice stated in his testimony that Ramos was the only person in the car.
Between the trauma and the chaos inside that car, Ramos' defense argued, it couldn't have been easy for Bologna to notice exactly how many people were in Ramos' car and exactly who was the shooter.
Bologna's testimony was critical to the prosecution's case because authorities never found the murder weapon.
And yet, by charging Reyes -- thereby putting him in the passenger's seat of Ramos' car -- District Attorney George Gascón will have to contradict the testimony of the only person to identify Ramos as the shooter, thereby conceding the defense's point that Bologna's eyewitness testimony should be considered murky.
Reyes will be arraigned later this afternoon.