Edwin Ramos was described as a lying, cold-blooded killer who helped make the Excelsior district a “hunting grounds” for the MS-13 gang on Tuesday as the prosecution began closing arguments in the heart-wrenching Bologna family murder trial.
The Bologna family had been driving home from a family picnic June 22, 2008, and was mistaken for rival gang members. Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were shot dead on a street in the Excelsior district. The only eyewitness of the triple-slaying was surviving son, Andrew, who was 18 at the time.
During a daylong assault on Ramos’ credibility, prosecutor Harry Dorfman for his closing argument used charts, a projector, lists on a whiteboard and even flashed gang signs with his hands to convince the jury Ramos is guilty of shooting and killing the three Bolgona family members.
Ramos has said that he was indeed driving his Chrysler 300 when his passenger, alleged gang member Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes, who remains at large, leaned over him from the front passenger’s seat and opened fire on the Bolognas’ vehicle.
Ramos even took the stand in his own defense two weeks ago, telling the jury that he had left gang life, but remained friend with gang members. He claimed he had no idea Reyes had plans to kill on the day the Bolognas were slain.
Ramos’ testimony was scrutinized Tuesday, as Dorfman worked to demolish the defendant’s credibility. On a whiteboard, Dorfman listed for jurors 13 lies Ramos has allegedly told since his arrest June 25, 2008. One alleged lie was admitting to cops he was driving the car at the time of the killing after previously denying he was there at the time of the shooting, Dorfman said. Also, despite Ramos’ assertion that he left gang life, the attorney said, phone records proved otherwise.
“When the details that come out of his mouth keep changing, does he care what lies he tells?” Dorfman said. “Apparently he doesn’t.”
Ramos made himself sound as if he was “almost wearing a halo,” the prosecutor said, in a bid to express “false remorse.”
Dorfman also tried to debunk the defense team’s challenge of Andrew Bologna’s account. The surviving son said Ramos drove up, blocked his family’s car at an intersection, gave his father “a mean look,” then pulled up alongside, drew a gun and opened fire.
Earlier in the trial, which began in January, Ramos’ attorneys called a psychologist to testify about the potential pitfalls of eyewitness recall.
“What’s his motivation to lie?” Dorfman said, saying that Andrew Bologna’s story has been consistent from the beginning. The prosecutors said Andrew Bologna identified Ramos through both a police sketch and by circling his picture in the days following the killings.
Another pitfall, Dorfman said, was Ramos’ assertion that he sold cocaine in order to help raise money for his family, despite buying his Chrysler for $14,000 around the same time as the killings. Also suspicious, Dorfman said, was that Ramos went to a San Rafael car wash after the shootings when he could have gone to one across the street from his home in El Sobrante.
“The defendant is asking you to believe the unbelievable,” Dorfman said, adding that Ramos had an “evidence problem.”
Closing arguments are scheduled to resume Wednesday, when defense attorney Marla Zamora will attempt to convince the jury of her client’s innocence.