Danielle Bologna’s family remains in hiding even after the recent conviction of an alleged MS-13 gang member for killing her husband and two of her sons four years ago. Now she must relive the trauma a second time.
Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes is accused of conspiring with Edwin Ramos, the 25-year-old who was sentenced in June to three life terms in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the 2008 fatal shootings of Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16.
Reyes was extradited from North Carolina last week and is expected to plead not guilty to murder charges on Tuesday.
In the months and years after Ramos’ arrest, Danielle Bologna attended nearly every major court hearing.
On Friday, she was back in a San Francisco courtroom for Reyes’ initial appearance after his July 9 arrest.
Afterward, she told reporters she was “absolutely” prepared, once again, for what lies ahead.
“This is my family, and I would do anything for them,” she said. “And I’m fighting for them, and for justice.”
Danielle Bologna said that her initial reaction to Reyes’ arrest was excitement, but reality quickly set in.
“Deep inside I realized that this is just the beginning of Round 2,” she said. “I’ve got to do this again, the whole thing. And I don’t think anybody out there knows the feeling, except if you’ve lost a loved one, of what you’ve got to go through to relive this, and to hear it all over again.
“I have to be ready. As long as my husband and my kids, and my surviving children, are with me, I’ll be fine.”
Reyes, 31, was represented Friday by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose request to have a gag order to shield his client from excessive publicity was denied by a judge. Reyes remains in custody on $5 million bail. Adachi said after the hearing that his office had just begun reviewing some 50,000 pages of evidence in the case.
Reyes reportedly disappeared from San Francisco in the days after the Bologna murders. The family was believed to have been mistaken for rival gang members in the daytime drive-by shooting.
District Attorney George Gascón said San Francisco police had worked closely with other law enforcement agencies to find Reyes, who he said was a co-conspirator riding in the car driven by Ramos in the Excelsior district June 22, 2008. Earlier that day, a fellow gang member had been shot but survived.
“They went out basically hunting,” Gascón said.
At his trial, Ramos claimed Reyes was the shooter, but a surviving son who witnessed the shootings testified that Ramos pulled the trigger. The jury hung on a charge of whether Ramos had actually fired the gun.