SAN FRANCISCO
04/04/2012 01:16 pm ET

Edwin Ramos Family Testifies: Grandmother, Aunts Of Suspect Describe His Life, Personality

On Monday, the family of Edwin Ramos, the man charged with murdering three members of the Bologna family, testified about Ramos and his life before the incident.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, Ramos's grandmother testified via translator about raising Ramos in rural El Salvador until he was 13. In her testimony, she described a sweet boy who was busy with school and household chores. "He was always very loving," she said.

She claimed he was not involved in any trouble or gang activity. "Where I live, that sort of thing didn't exist." She also said that she did not notice any change in Ramos when she visited him in San Francisco. According to the Examiner, Edwin Ramos began to cry during his grandmother's testimony.

Ramos's aunt, who raised Ramos during his teenage years in San Francisco, also testified on Monday, and said that she hadn't noticed any change in his mood or behavior on the day of the killings. She also said that, while Ramos had spent time in juvenile hall, she was unaware of his involvement in any gang activity.

According to the Examiner, Ramos's attorney Marla Zamora also brought an important witness to the stand: a man who said he saw two people in Ramos's vehicle driving away from the shooting.

Zamora has alleged that the shooter was actually Wilfred "Flaco" Reyes, and that Ramos –- though also in the car –- was unaware of Reyes's plan to shoot the Bolognas. Andrew Bologna, the sole survivor from the 2008 testified in January that Ramos was the only person in the car.

During Bologna's January testimony, he identified Ramos as the shooter.

"I saw him," said Bologna, pointing at Ramos. "He was staring at my dad, mugging him, giving him a mean look, and that's when he pulled out a gun. [...] They shot my family like that. It didn't make any sense."

Ramos, an alleged MS-13 gang member, is accused of shooting Tony Bologna and his two sons while they were driving in the Excelsior District in 2008, allegedly because he believed they were members of a rival gang. The case became especially explosive because it highlighted San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance.

The Huffington Post reported about the ordinance:

Even though Ramos had been in and out of the California penal system for much of his teenage years, San Francisco authorities never turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement due a 1989 decision by the Board of Supervisors declaring San Francisco a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants. Under such policy, local law enforcement is prohibited from turning undocumented immigrants in to authorities at the point of their arrest.

Many in law enforcement, such as former SFPD chief and current District Attorney George Gascon, support "sanctuary city" policies because they allow local police departments to maintain better relationships with communities comprised with high concentrations of undocumented immigrants.

The law was later amended in 1992 to allow the city to contact federal immigration officials in the case of an undocumented immigrant committing a felony; however, a loophole was left open for people under the age of 18, which is how Ramos was able to stay in the country after his two teenage assaults.

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