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Trial Opens In SF Triple Killing That Sparked Sanctuary City Debate

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The trial of Edwin Ramos, alleged MS-13 gang member accused of murdering a father and two of his sons in San Francisco’s Excelsior District in 2008, began Monday morning with opening statements from the prosecution.

tony bologna Trial Opens In SF Triple Killing That Sparked Sanctuary City Debate

Tony Bologna (left) was shot and killed along with his sons Michael and Matthew in San Francisco’s Excelsior District on June 22, 2008. (CBS)

Ramos, 25, of El Sobrante, is charged with fatally shooting Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, near Congdon and Maynard streets the afternoon of June 22, 2008, as they drove home from a picnic.

“But they never made it home,” Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman said as he began to lay out the case against Ramos, who prosecutors say shot the Bolognas after mistaking them for rival gang members.

Dorfman said “four people were supposed to die,” but one of Tony Bologna’s three sons who was in the car survived and will testify later this week.

He said the son saw Ramos pull up alongside his family’s car, give “some sort of mugging look” to Tony Bologna, and then open fire.

“The shooting was very focused and from very close range,” Dorfman said. “He knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish.”

Investigators found evidence that five shots were fired into the car.

Dorfman used a PowerPoint presentation to lay out evidence in the case, including records of phone conversations between Ramos and two other alleged MS-13 gang members, one of whom was shot earlier that day in the city’s Mission District.

He said the shooting of the Bolognas was in retaliation for the earlier shooting, which injured alleged gang member Marvin Medina.

The case drew criticism of San Francisco’s sanctuary policy, which shielded illegal immigrant juveniles suspected of crimes from being reported to federal immigration agents.

Ramos is an illegal immigrant and had numerous contacts with San Francisco police for drugs and violent crimes as a juvenile but was not reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

The city has changed its policy since the murders. The Bologna family also sued the city over the sanctuary policy, although a judge later dismissed the suit.

Danielle Bologna, the wife and mother of the victims, was in court Monday and sobbed frequently as Dorfman spoke about the case.

Opening arguments were expected to continue into the afternoon.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Jeff Stone

    This case is so heartbreaking for Danielle B., this worthless piece of human excrement should get the DEATH PENALTY FOR WHAT HE DID…his gang member demons should be in jail for life or be deported, OUT OF THIS COUNTRY TO THE CESS POOL WHERE THEY BELONG.
    My heart goes out to the Bologna family for having to endure this.

  • stan

    The DA in SF will never go after the death penalty no matter how heinous the crime, The Blame starts with Newsom who twice protected this animal from deportation to the ex sheriff who refused to follow federal law and turn him over. The current Mayor and wife beating sheriff are following suit and turned this media circus trial into a bigger embarrassment to the city than any black out at candlestick could.

    SF newest political forum

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