Jurors find 2 guilty of murder

first_imgPOMONA – Sobs of relief from one side and tears of anguish from the other filled a courtroom Thursday as a jury found two defendants guilty of murder in the March 2004 shooting of a 50-year- old Hacienda Heights man. Juan Tovar, 19, was found guilty of first-degree murder, and Anne Harrison, 24, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting of James Ramos. Tovar faces at least 50 years to life in prison, and Harrison faces a sentence of 40 years to life. They are scheduled for sentencing Feb. 1. A key witness who was in the car during the shooting testified that Tovar, a local gang member, shot Ramos while Harrison drove and encouraged him to shoot because she had mistaken the residence to be the home of a gang informant. The case almost unraveled when another reputed gang member allegedly kidnapped that witness. The district attorney will prosecute Ray Moreno, who has been charged with witness dissuasion and kidnapping, said Deputy District Attorney Peter Bliss. He is slated to appear in court Jan. 26. Relatives, friends, and the wife and three children of Ramos wept as the verdict was read. Ramos worked the early morning shift at a grocery warehouse and was changing the battery in his car to go to work around 3 a.m. when the drive-by shooting occurred. Ramos’ wife, Vivian, said the family is thankful the nearly two-year ordeal is over. “I believe justice was served. I just thank God and everyone that prayed for our family and gave us support through this horrible ordeal,” she said. Harrison’s attorney, Anthony Kidd, said the second-degree murder conviction showed that the jury considered Harrison’s mental state and concluded she was not as culpable as Tovar. “They \ apparently believed she aided and abetted the first-degree murder, but didn’t possess the right type of malice,” he said. Tovar’s attorney, James Horan, said he hoped the jury made their decision after listening to a tape of Tovar talking about the shooting with a fellow gang member in a prison cell. Horan had argued before the jury that Tovar took credit for a murder he didn’t commit in order to elevate his gang status. “They \ did the right thing. These are cold- hearted people who caused a horrible tragedy,” Bliss said. shirley.hsu@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img