Edwin Ramos insists the blood is not on his hands.
The 25-year-old MS-13 gang member on Monday refused to take responsibility for killing Anthony Bologna, 48, and sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, as he was sentenced to three life terms in prison without the possibility of parole. The father and two of his sons were driving home from a picnic June 22, 2008, in the Excelsior district when they were murdered.
Ramos said Monday he is the fall guy for a fellow MS-13 member, telling the court that prosecutors and jurors will have to live with imprisoning an innocent man. He plans to appeal the verdicts.
Along with the three life terms, to run consecutively, Ramos also received a concurrent sentence of 182 years to life on charges that include the attempted murder of surviving son Andrew Bologna, who was in the car at the time of the shooting. Andrew Bologna was the only known witness to the shooting and said Ramos gave his father “a mean look” before firing into their vehicle.
Ramos claims he was driving when passenger Wilfredo “Flaco” Reyes opened fire out of the driver’s side window without warning. Reyes has not been found.
Though he denied responsibility, Ramos apologized to the Bolognas for their loss, saying that if he could “trade places with any of [the victims], I would.”
Widow Danielle Bologna, who sobbed and cheered after Monday’s hearing, said she has nothing to say to Ramos unless he takes responsibility.
She said Ramos’ sentence offered “a huge sense of relief.”
After a four-month trial, the jury hung on whether Ramos was the shooter. But they found that his role in the killings constituted first-degree murder convictions.
Last week, the defense team filed a motion requesting a new trial, saying emotional courtroom outbursts from the Bologna family during the trial, along with juror misconduct, helped influence the guilty verdicts.
But Monday, Judge Charles Haines rejected that request, saying Ramos received a fair trial and the Bologna family had been “remarkably restrained” given the gravity of their loss.
“The Bolognas were the victims here,” Haines said. “They did not victimize the defendant.”
Danielle Bologna said, “I think in something this horrible, it’s hard to compose yourself. But I did it for my loved ones.”
Though the real gunman could be at large, Danielle Bologna said her husband and sons would want her to move on.
The District Attorney’s Office is now working with the Bolognas to determine how much restitution Ramos should owe. Having him make regular payments will be a “constant reminder” of the incident, prosecutors said.