On Monday, Edwin Ramos, the MS-13 gang member accused of killing three members of the Bologna family in a drive-by shooting, took the stand before his attorney Marla Zamora, offering his first public comments since the 2008 incident.
According to SF Appeal, Ramos alleged that he did not shoot the Bologna family, but rather was driving the car and was unaware of his passenger's plans to open fire. Ramos said that the shooter was actually Wilfred "Flaco" Reyes, a fellow MS-13 member who has remained at large ever since.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Ramos claimed that he was driving Reyes to an Oakland hospital to visit a fellow gang member who had been shot by a rival gang earlier that day. Reyes was allegedly acting erratically and yelling directions at Ramos. Ramos then pulled up next to the Bolognas at a red light.
Ramos claimed that when Reyes saw the Bolognas he started saying, "chappos, chappos," Spanish slang for northerner, indicating that they were members of a rival gang, according to SF Appeal. The Bolognas were driving home from a family picnic, and were not actually affiliated with any gang. Ramos said he did not believe the Bolognas were gang members, claiming, "I just saw an old dude in there."
According to Ramos, Reyes then leaned over Ramos and fired through his window, reported SF Appeal. "I got scared," said Ramos during the testimony. "It happened really fast."
Ramos said he then fled the intersection. "I said, 'What'd you do that for?'"
Ramos alleged that he then dropped off Reyes, parked his car on Cortland Avenue and had his cousins pick him up. He claimed he did not know the Bolognas had died until he read about it in the newspaper and heard that the police were looking for his car.
"I got ten times more scared," he said.
When asked why he did not report the incident to the police, Ramos said that he did not trust the police, using the charges against him to prove his point. SF Appeal reported:
When asked by Zamora why he didn't go to the police at any point after the shooting, he said it was because he believed they did not want to find the real killer.
"Look what happened when I did tell them," he said. "They still haven't looked for him." Reyes has not been found, and defense attorneys have brought forward witnesses indicating that he fled to South Carolina after the shooting.
According to the Chronicle, a friend of Reyes's testified that Reyes used a fake name since fleeing to South Carolina and wore beads around his neck that he claimed protected him from police.
Ramos originally denied any involvement with the incident whatsoever, but later admitted to driving the car. Outside of the courtroom, Zamora explained why her client changed his story.
"Would you want to take the rap for this horrible crime that you didn't do?" She argued. "That you didn't know it was even going to occur and then be left holding the bag?"
However, in January, Andrew Bologna, the lone survivor in the 2008 shooting, identified Ramos as the shooter. During the testimony, Bologna pointed at Ramos and said, "I saw him. 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 doesn't make any sense."
Zamora will continue questioning Ramos on Tuesday, before prosecutor Harry Dorfman will cross-examine.
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