|For Immediate Release
Case # C-53262 May 16, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN CONVICTED OF RAPE AND STABBING-MURDER OF 22-YEAR-OLD WOMAN OUTSIDE OF BAR IN 1983
*Defendant was previously convicted and sentenced to death, but case was overturned on appeal by federal district judge
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted yesterday of raping and murdering a 22-year-old woman in an alley behind a bar in 1983. The defendant was previously convicted and sentenced to receive the death penalty in this case in 1985, but his conviction was later overturned by the Federal District Court for the Central District of California on writ of habeas corpus.
Richard Raymond Ramirez, 53, was found guilty by a jury May 15, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape, one felony count of rape, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
As the District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case, the trial will now move to the second phase, the penalty phase. In the penalty phase, the same jury who found the defendant guilty of the crime will consider the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the evidence to determine the defendant’s penalty, death or life without the possibility of parole. Opening statements in the penalty phase are expected to begin Monday, May 20, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Crime
On the night of Nov. 20, 1983, 22-year-old Kim Gonzalez was at Mr. Barry’s bar in Garden Grove. Throughout the night, Gonzalez was seen in the bar with then-24-year-old Ramirez, whom she had met two weeks earlier at the same bar while out with her brother and a friend. The defendant spent the night drinking, talking, dancing with, and kissing the victim.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Nov. 21, 1983, Gonzalez left the bar through a door that led to the rear parking lot. Ramirez followed Gonzalez outside carrying a long-neck bottle of Budweiser beer. Once outside in a nearby alley, Ramirez attacked the victim.
Ramirez raped Gonzalez and then murdered her by stabbing her 19 times. One of the stabs went through her neck, severing the victim’s spinal cord. After murdering the defendant, Ramirez fled the scene. Gonzalez’s body was found in the alley at approximately 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 21, 1983. The victim was naked from the waist down with her pants and underwear pulled down near her ankles and knees.
Fingerprints were later retrieved from a Budweiser beer bottle 15 feet from the victim’s body. The defendant’s fingerprints were identified as those left on that bottle found in the alley.