Attorneys for triple-murder suspect Edwin Ramos on Thursday began a challenge to the only eyewitness to the 2008 slayings of the Bologna family, the son who survived and testified that he was sure Ramos was the gunman.
Ramos, 25, is accused of the June 22, 2008 drive-by shootings of Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, in the Excelsior district.
A third son, Andrew, who was 18 at the time, testified in January that Ramos drove up, blocked his family’s car at an intersection and gave his father “a mean look,” then pulled up alongside, drew a gun and opened fire.
On Thursday, Ramos’ attorneys called a psychologist to testify about the potential pitfalls of eyewitness recall.
Dr. Geoff Loftus, of the Univ. of Washington in Seattle, explained to jurors that while extremely stressful situations can give a witness detailed memories of the event, some details can be added by information learned later on to produce a “largely made-up” memory.
Challenging Bologna’s recall of the shootings is crucial to Ramos’ defense. While Ramos admits that he was the driver, he says a passenger was the shooter.
“It was real quick,” Andrew Bologna testified on Jan. 25, adding that he immediately ducked for cover in the back seat. Bologna later identified Ramos to police from a photo lineup.
Police have said Ramos, an alleged MS-13 gang member, was looking to retaliate for an earlier shooting of a fellow gang member, and mistook the Bologna family for rival Norteños.