Criminal Justice

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Ramirez Murder Conviction, Sentence

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April 30, 2014 — Lakeshore Public Media staff — The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday affirmed the conviction and 62-year sentence for a 31-year-old Hammond man for murder and gang activity, even though his attorney claimed on appeal that the local judge did not declare a mistrial because a juror said she was intimidated during the trial.

The state’s high court ruled unanimously that Ernesto Ramirez failed to prove that a juror’s extraneous contact and communications related to his case prejudiced the jury.

Ramirez shot and killed a man at the Copper Penny Bar in Hammond in 20-12.

Judge Thomas Stefeniak  dismissed the juror after she said she couldn’t render an impartial verdict because of shots fired near her home and a neighbor said in public that she was a juror in a court case.  But Judge Stefeniak did not declare a mistrial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals later denied Ramirez’s request to throw out his sentence, and the state Supreme Court agreed with the appellate court decision.


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