In San Francisco, what started off as traffic gridlock at one intersection last month led to deadly road rage. This week, an alleged gang member and illegal immigrant pled not guilty to the murders of a father and two of his sons. Anthony Bologna, 49, along with his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were killed by bullets from an AK-47 assault weapon on June 22. They were heading home from a picnic, but never made it.
Three days later, police arrested 21 year old Edwin Ramos. Investigators believe he was the shooter riding in a car with at least two other people. But Ramos' attorney says his client didn't pull the trigger and cops have the wrong guy.
There's another twist. It's tied to Ramos' undocumented resident status. He had been arrested at least three times before the shooting. And in two of the cases, he was reportedly convicted of felonies as a juvenile, but never deported.
Ramos' most recent arrest was just this past March when police allegedly found a gun used in a double homicide in a car he was driving. The district attorney's office decided not to press charges against Ramos. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he was released even though steps were being taken to deport him because his application for legal residence was denied.
Here's where federal and local officials have much different stories. The San Francisco Sherriff’s office says jail officials sent a fax to ICE asking if Ramos should stay behind bars. It says it never got a response.
Meanwhile, ICE says it never was told of Ramos' arrest in March. It claims it got an "electronic message" from the sheriff's department at least two hours after Ramos was let go.
Now months later, Ramos is accused of a triple homicide that's getting national attention. That's because the case has sparked debate over San Francisco's sanctuary law. The city's nearly 20 year old policy blocks local officials from helping the feds in their efforts to deport illegal immigrants. Mayor Gavin Newsom says he voided the policy when juvenile offenders are involved after hearing about it two months ago. And his spokesman says, "The sanctuary program was never intended to shield felons."
Everyone it seems has a different story.
But one thing remains the same: a father and two of his sons are dead. And, many of the victims' family want prosecutors to seek the death penalty. District Attorney Kamala Harris has pledged not to seek the death penalty while in office. Will she change her mind?
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