Double-murder trial begins for Patrick Ramirez
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Prosecutors outlined the case against a suspected killer as a cold-blooded double murder for drugs and money. The murder trial of Patrick Ramirez began Tuesday.
Ramirez is accused of killing Jarrett Stanley and Latonya Wright in Baton Rouge on February 6, 2011. He is charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
According to prosecutor Dana Cummings, Stanley and Wright had gone over to Ramirez's house to watch the Super Bowl. Stanley and Ramirez had reportedly been friends since childhood.
In her opening statement, Cummings painted a picture of a planned "rip" job on the pair. In other words, Ramirez and an accomplice were going to kill them for the drugs they were allegedly dealing. Later that morning, Stanley and Wright were found dead in the trunk of a Saturn Ion on the corner of Airline Highway and Dutton Avenue. They had both been shot in the head at point-blank range.
Defense attorney Bo Rougeou admitted he has an uphill battle.
"True, there's a lot of circumstantial evidence, but no real direct evidence against Mr. Ramirez," Rougeou said.
Cummings told the jury through the use of cell phone tracking and witnesses, she can prove that Ramirez is guilty.
"In this case, particularly, the timeline is very important because the witnesses corroborate each other through the timeline, so to me, it's very important to lay out the timeline to some extent," Cummings said.
This is the first case the violent crimes unit has had from start to finish. Cummings added it has helped make her case very strong.
"We can exchange information with the law enforcement that's out there and we become a team effort in some respects," she explained.
The jury of six men and six women will see graphic autopsy pictures when they return to court Wednesday.
The alleged accomplice, Kendrick Johnson, 32, also faces murder charges. District Attorney Hillar Moore said Johnson's trial will be next.
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