Justice prevails in KKK rally beating
The second of four suspects in the beating of a young African-American man during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., was convicted after jurors deliberated for about a half-four.
Alex Michael Ramos, 33, was charged with malicious wounding in the Aug. 12, 2017 attack on 20-year-old DeAndre Harris, a teacher’s aide and aspiring rapper.
Ramos bragged about being among the white supremacists who beat up Harris in a Charlottesville parking garage, which led to the discovery that he was one of the attackers.
Ramos, who identifies as Puerto Rican, was arrested for the felony assault when law enforcement officials caught up with him in Georgia on Aug 29, 2017.
Also during the Unite the Right rally, where Harris was attacked by a small mob of neo-Nazi marchers, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed by a car that plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.
“Deliberating for just 35 minutes, a Charlottesville jury found Michael Alex Ramos guilty of the felony of malicious wounding – in the brutal assault of DeAndre Harris,” tweeted Shaun King, a journalist known for leading social justice activism.
Ramos is an associate of the Atlanta Proud Boys/FOAK and the III% Georgia Security Force.
White supremacist and far-Right nationalist movements, inspired since President Donald Trump’s election, have evolved into something younger and more contemporary than the fascist klans of older times.
“They use memes and retro aesthetics to make their hateful message more palatable,” according to Atlanta Antifascists, one of several groups tracking their activity. “Prioritizing anonymity and information security, until recently the ‘Alt-Right’ has relied on its internet presence combined with occasional public speaking events by white-collar “leaders” such as Richard Spencer to advance its cause.”
“While they share the far-Right’s disdain for leftism and its anti-immigrant obsessions, their broader political circles often consider the Proud Boys an embarrassment,” said Atlanta Antifascists.
Before his Facebook was deactivated, Ramos was bragging about the attack and he was seen in Charlottesville wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap.
Jurors in Charlottesville Circuit Court went into deliberations in Alex Michael Ramos’ care shortly before 3:30 p.m Thursday, May 3. They handed down their verdict a little after 4 p.m.
The jury then considered a punishment for Ramos, which entailed possible fines and a sentencing of somewhere between five and 20 years behind bars. The jury came back with a decision around 5:45 p.m., and recommended a six-year sentence with no fine.
Ramos, Daniel Patrick Borden, Tyler Watkins Davis, and Jacob Scott Goodwin were all arrested in connection to the violent incident inside the Market Street Parking Garage on August 12, 2017. Borden is facing one count of felonious assault, while the other three defendants were charged with malicious wounding.
Defense attorney Jay Joyce had asked the jury to find Ramos guilty of assault and battery instead, which would carry a jail term of no more than 1 year. During opening statements, Joyce acknowledged that his client took a “cheap shot” at Harris, hitting him in the head.
Assistant Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina-Alice Antony argued Ramos not only punched Harris’ head, but also jumped on his leg.
Antony and Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joseph Platania called a total of five witnesses during the two-day trial.
Harris and Charlottesville Sheriff James Brown testified for the commonwealth Wednesday. Evan Pryse, a nurse practitioner at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, was called to testify Thursday morning. He had treated Harris’ injuries from the alleged attack, as well as testified during Goodwin’s trial.
Pryse said none of Harris’ injuries were life-threatening, but that he appeared dazed and confused when he arrived at the hospital.
Jurors heard testimony Thursday from a community police officer, who said he broke up the incident inside the parking garage, and Charlottesville police detective Declan Hickey. The detective helped to positively identify Ramos, as well as Goodwin, and walked the jury through video evidence of what happened that day.
Joyce did not call any witnesses or present any evidence. He did cross examine the commonwealth’s witnesses.
A separate jury found Goodwin guilty of malicious wounding Tuesday, May 1. He is expected to be sentenced on August 23.
Borden’s two-day jury trial is set to begin June 5.
Davis’ trial is scheduled to take three days. Jurors will hear that case starting July 16.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!