By Neha Malhi
RIVERSIDE, CA – Ruben Gonzalez Ramirez, Manuel Barbosa, Angel Jose Lopez, and Anthony Alexander Munoz, four incarcerated men in the same cell, were charged here in Riverside County Superior Court last week with allegedly attacking another inmate.
The four men allegedly brutally beat another inmate twice on the same day with guitar, mop, and cane.
The four will have separate jury trials starting Tuesday.
The first attack was a face punch on the victim and is said not to be serious. However, when the victim left his cell he was attacked again by the same group, which left the victim to be hospitalized, according to the facts presented by the prosecution.
According to the victim’s statement, he was attacked with his own guitar, a mop, and a cane. However, on-duty officers did not find any bloodstains on any of these things allegedly used for attack.
Defense lawyers argued that a guitar can’t be considered as a weapon used against the victim, because not only it does not contain any of the victim’s but also during the inspection it does not have any structural damage to it.
However, a judge ruled it to be considered a deadly weapon against the defendant because, regardless of structural damage or not, the force with which the victim was hit is enough to take a person’s life or at least put his life in danger.
However, it is not clear how many guitars were used during the fight and whether the one which is in custody is the one that was used during the fight. According to the police investigation, it was definitely proven that a guitar was used, but only the number is not clear.
In his response the prosecutor argued that “the evidence item does not exist anymore, meaning no one has the ability to track the guitar with the DIA in question.” He also said, “I received a more formal copy of that motion yesterday. It was requesting for the guitar to be examined. The possession guitar has never really been in our possession; it was not retained to any degree that I’m aware of.”
In regard to considering fight without any weapons, the prosecutor argued that not finding blood on these things doesn’t mean that they were not used against the victim. He also argued that it is a common occurrence in inmates’ fights to not find any clue of weapons used in fights.
The victim is supposed to be out of custody to get the proper treatment. However, at the current moment, both defense lawyers and the prosecutor are unable to connect with him.
Defense attorneys also appealed with the judge to have separate jury trials for each of their clients, as some of them were not involved in both attacks and did not use any weapon during the fight.