The attorney for convicted killer Edwin Ramos says jury misconduct and emotional courtroom outbursts from a grieving widow contributed to jurors convicting her client of first-degree murder.
Attorney Marla Zamora filed a motion last week calling for a new trial in the gang-fueled June 22, 2008, murders of Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, in the Excelsior district. The motion could delay today’s scheduled sentencing of Ramos, who faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Zamora said the 25-year-old Ramos did not receive a fair trial, partly due to “several” emotional outbursts from devastated widow Danielle Bologna.
“The widow was in the first row every day in front of the jurors,“ Zamora said. “Jurors could hear. We complained about it right and left.”
Two jurors refused to deliberate, Zamora said, because their “minds were made up.”
Also, she said, the motion claims a juror did independent research on the case that was never produced during trial and brought into jury deliberations.
And another juror claimed a misunderstanding led to a regrettable first-degree murder conviction, Zamora said.
“The jury instructions were so confusing,” the attorney said.
An alternate juror, who wished to be identified only as Jason B., also called jury instructions “damn confusing.”
“So much of it is completely irrelevant,” he said.
The District Attorney’s Office on Friday shrugged off the defense motion.
“No good evidence has been presented that would undermine our confidence in the verdict,” office spokesman Alex Bastian said.
Ramos claims he was driving when the front passenger in his car opened fire out of the driver’s side window without warning. He says there was nothing he could do to stop it.
The front passenger is believed to be fellow MS-13 gang member Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes, and he has not been found.
The only known witness to the shooting is surviving son Andrew Bologna, then 18. He said Ramos was the shooter and had stared down his father before pulling the trigger.
After a four-month trial, the jury convicted Ramos on May 9 of three counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances that the shootings were carried out for the purposes of a criminal street gang. They hung on charges that he actually fired a gun or conspired to commit murder.