For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS TO LIFE FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF TEENAGER IN FULLERTON ALLEY ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a teenager who was changing a tire in a Fullerton alley. Charles Thomas Ramirez Jr., 36, Fullerton, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 5, 2013, of one felony count of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and a prior prison conviction for theft from 2008.
Co-defendant Marc Tomas Luna, 30, Fullerton, pleaded guilty Dec. 6, 2013, to one felony count of accessory after the fact and was sentenced to three years in state prison. Luna testified in the trial against Ramirez.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 17, 2011, Ramirez approached 19-year-old Larry Ruiz, who was helping his friend change a tire in an alley behind Ruiz’s parent’s home in Fullerton. Ramirez confronted the victim and claimed that he had been involved in a physical fight earlier in the day with the defendant’s friend, which Ruiz denied. Ramirez then punched the victim in the face.
As Ruiz began to back away in an attempt to escape, Ramirez pulled out a firearm and shot the victim one time in the head. Ramirez fled and Ruiz died at the scene. The victim’s friend was uninjured.
The Fullerton Police Department investigated this case and arrested Ramirez on March 18, 2011.
Ramirez’s brother-in-law, Luna, witnessed the crime and later lied to police about Ramirez’s involvement.
At the sentencing today, Ruiz’s father Francisco Ruiz gave a victim impact statement to the court and expressed how much he loved his son and how he still continues to struggle to understand why this crime occurred.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.