Advising the client whether to testify is one of the hardest decisions a criminal defense attorney has to make. On one hand, juries want to hear from the other side while on the other hand the client may not make a good witness. Being a bad witness does not mean that the client would not be telling the absolute truth, it means that he or she may not come across well to the jury. This often has to do with fear of public speaking, anxiety, and sometimes, yes, even appearance.
Edwin Ramos, age 25, stands accused of the June 22, 2008 murder of a father and two of his sons. The prosecution alleges that the victims, Tony Bologna, and his two sons Michael and Mathew Bologna were killed while sitting in their car and that Ramos was the one that fired the shots from another car.
Prior to taking the stand other defense witnesses depicted Ramos as good kid deeply affected by a hard life. According to their testimony he grew up without his parents in El Salvador. He came to the United States at the age of 13 where he continued to lead a difficult life, often being the victim of physical and emotional abuse.
As a young looking Ramos took the stand, his demeanor may have appeared a bit out of the ordinary. He started off his testimony displaying a smile on many occasions. This was explained by indicating that it was a nervous habit. While to many people that may seem to be a poor excuse, smiling is actually a nervous habit that can affect many people. According to the website psychcentral.com many people report smiling as a reflex that sets on during times of stress or anxiety. Unfortunately jurors often believe that a smile on a witness' face reflects a poor attitude when testifying in a serious case.
Ramos recounted the day of the shooting. He indicated that he was present in the car from where the shots were fired. He indicated that he believed at least one of the occupants of the victim's car was a member of a rival gang, a gang that according to Ramos was responsible for the shooting and wounding of one of Ramos' gang associates earlier that same day. Ramos indicated that he was actually the driver of the car and blamed the shooting on a passenger of the car he was driving, a person by the name of Wilfredo Reyesruano.
If you or a loved one stands accused of a serious crime in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, call our offices today. Our attorneys are experienced and thorough. Clients often meet with the whole team of defense lawyers that will be working on their case in order to plan the best defense strategy. As a certified criminal law specialist attorney Dudek knows how to design and implement the most efficient defense. As former prosecutor, attorney Cintean knows the prosecutor's mindset and how to best counter the District Attorney's prosecution plan. Call us today for a consultation.