Man Convicted in West Sacramento Beating

He further argued that while no one ever heard any statements about intentions to kill the victim, the injuries were directed not at arms and legs but at a vital part of the body – the head and face.

Moreover, he argued that even if it was not premeditated prior to being interrupted, the resumption of the act argues premeditation and the intention to kill.

That said, this was not an open and shut case, and the defense perhaps did not put on near enough evidence to counter the rambling statements of Ms. Ramos.

There are several points that need to be made. First, Ms. Ramos was the only witness in this case who was able to place Mr. Romero at the scene, and even then it was tangentially done.

Mr. Spangler, in his closing, would argue that it is not even certain that Mr. Romero came back to the apartment that night, let alone that he was seen with a tooth in his hand.

Ms. Ramos claimed to have seen the tooth, but there was no scar where she said it was – between the knuckles of the middle and ring finger on the right hand.  Mr. Romero, at the trial, did have a scar on his other hand, but in a portion that would not likely make contact in a punch, and certainly would not produce enough force to lodge a tooth.

Mr. Hamilton, on his rebuttal closing, argued that Ms. Ramos could not have known that the victim was missing teeth if she had not seen the tooth.  He also argued that if there were someone that could have put Mr. Romero in a different location that night, Mr. Spangler would have presented it in trial.

Of course, both of these points shift the burden, and Mr. Spangler is not required to prove negatives, which are difficult to prove any way.  The prosecution is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and this hinges on a single witness, who has a vested interest in telling her story, and who utterly lacked credibility. Her testimony not only contradicted itself, but was also contradicted by physical evidence.

Ms. Ramos’ confused testimony, along with the lack of any corroboration, likely led to the previous hung jury, but for whatever reason this time, the jury came back with a guilty verdict.

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