In San Francisco, the trial of Edwin Ramos is in its third week for the murder of Tony Bologna and his two sons, Michael and Matthew. Part of the prosecution strategy to establish motive has been to show that Ramos was an active member of the MS-13 crime gang and shot the Bolognas as a mistaken-identity gangster revenge killing. Ramos said that he used to be a busy gang-banger but had dropped out to spend more time with his family.
The case has focused a light on the proliferation of gang crime in the sanctuary city which has gone to great lengths to coddle diverse criminals. Foreign “youth” have been particularly pampered with special culturally appropriate programs and a comfy group home to gently entice them away from crime. (See Another San Francisco Poster Boy Crack Dealer.)
San Francisco used to be a nice city with interesting bohemian highlights. But years of progressive politics, its self-designation of sanctuary and actually advertising freebies for illegal aliens have caused foreign gang crime to flourish. The current trial is revealing how pervasive it is.
Friend: Alleged triple-killer was active in gang, San Francisco Chronicle, February 15, 2012
An acquaintance of the man accused of gunning down a father and his two sons in San Francisco testified today that the defendant had been an active member of the MS-13 gang, countering defense arguments that he had been trying to leave the gang life to spend more time with his wife and baby.
Marvin Medina, 25, testified in the triple-murder trial of Edwin Ramos that the alleged killer had been one of the gang members who counted to 13 as Medina was “jumped in” – beaten and kicked – as part of his initiation into Pasadena Locos Sureños faction of MS-13, also known as PLS.
Just hours after Medina was jumped into the gang, he said, Ramos drove him to San Francisco to show him “the territory.”
“He has a great history in San Francisco, and everyone would talk about him,” Medina testified through a Spanish-language interpreter.
Medina also said Ramos had to take pills for mental health issues.
Ramos, 25, joined the MS-13 faction after leaving another of the gang’s Mission District cliques, 20th Street, in 2006, Medina said.
Ramos’ former brother-in-law and 20th Street associate, Abraham Martinez, testified earlier in the trial that Ramos had quit because he thought 20th Street wasn’t violent enough.
Prosecutors say Ramos shot and killed Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, as they were driving near their home in the Excelsior neighborhood in June 2008 in revenge for an earlier shooting that wounded Medina. Investigators believe Ramos mistook one of the sons for a rival gang member.
Ramos’s attorney, Marla Zamora, has argued that in the months before the shooting, Ramos focused most of his energies on working at an auto repair shop in South San Francisco and spending time with his wife and baby.
Zamora says Ramos was driving the shooter’s car when the Bolognas were killed, but that he did not fire the shots. Instead, she says, an MS-13 leader named Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyesruano killed the father and his sons.
Medina testified that Reyesruano was a member of PLS and was Ramos’ best friend. Reyesruano’s whereabouts are unknown.
Medina also testified at Ramos’ preliminary hearing in 2009, but was convicted of perjury after claiming he had no association with MS-13. His girlfriend testified he has a large “MS” tattooed on his back.
Medina was granted immunity from additional charges for providing “honest answers” at the trial, prosecutor Harry Dorfman said.
His testimony is expected to continue through Thursday.