Kerin Ramirez, former wrestler at Harper College in suburban Chicago who was shot inside a police officer’s home in 2011, has been found guilty of trespassing but acquitted of a more serious charge of home invasion in a Du Page County court Tuesday, July 30.
Ramirez, 21, admitted he was intoxicated when he entered the Wheaton-area home of a Wood Dale police sergeant on Sept. 24, 2011 after having left a nearby party on foot. Upon entering the unlocked house thinking he had returned to the party, Ramirez and the officer scuffled, ending with the officer shooting Ramirez once in the abdomen. Ramirez was hospitalized, then held at the Du Page County jail for 18 months until his case first came to trial in April 2013.
Ramirez had originally been charged with home invasion, a felony that carries a minimum six-year prison sentence and maximum term of 30. However, at the trial earlier this year, the jury was deadlocked after 18 hours of deliberation. The judge declared a mistrial, and reduced the original $300,000 bail for Ramirez, who has been free on bond since.
In the second trial, Ramirez’s attorneys opted for a bench trial. Du Page County Judge George Bakalis acquitted the former college wrestler on the home invasion charge, but found him guilty of criminal trespass, a Class 4 felony, which can result in a one to three-year prison sentence, though probation is an option. Ramirez’s defense attorney Gal Pissetzky said the jail time his client has already served would make it unlikely he’ll spend any more time in custody.
Sentencing will take place Sept. 19.
At trial, Ramirez said that several hours before the shooting he became intoxicated at a party in the neighborhood where the crime took place. He left the party on foot and later walked into the police officer’s unlocked house around 7 a.m., thinking he had returned to the party.
The officer testified that he confronted Ramirez, who refused to leave, attacking the officer. According to the Daily Herald, a ten-minute fight ensued that ultimately involved a neighbor — a retired police officer — who tried to help the police sergeant. The officer said he shot Ramirez once in the abdomen because he and the neighbor could not subdue the wrestler.
Ramirez had no prior criminal record.
William Rainey Harper College is a two-year community college located in Palatine, Ill., a northwestern suburb of Chicago. It has an enrollment of approximately 16,000 students.
Want to know more? Check out reports from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.
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