Jury deliberates in Jupiter hate crime suspect accused of killing Guatemalan man trial

Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos’ face looked like he came out of a boxing match, beaten and swollen with his eyes still open, according to a Jupiter Police officer that found his body.

Prosecutors say Lopez-Ramos, 18, was killed by three men targeting Guatemalan people they were looking to rob in Jupiter in 2015.  

David Harris is the first of the three suspects to stand trial for Lopez-Ramos’s death, charged with first-degree murder while committing a hate crime. After five days of testimony, a Palm Beach County jury is now deliberating whether the killing was in cold-blood or was justified. 

"David Harris swung that axe one time. He did not kill Oneismo,” said Franklin Prince, Harris’ attorney.” Harris maintains the victim swung a pipe at him and Harris hit him with an axe in self-defence. Harris is blaming his co-defendant, Aust…

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Jupiter hate crime suspect on trial for first-degree murder

JUPITER, Fla. - Prosecutors pulled out a metal pipe, axe and rock from evidence boxes in a Palm Beach County courtroom they say were used in a hate crime nearly three years ago in Jupiter. 

They're all part of evidence used against David Harris, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Onesimo Lopez-Ramos.

“David Harris and Austin Taggart, and David Harris' brother Jesse Harris and some other young men went prowling the streets of Jupiter, Florida in the early morning hours of April 18, 2015,” said Assistant State Attorney Jill Richstone during her opening statement at Harris’ trial Tuesday.

“Why? They were going ‘Guat hunting,' which means to rob, steal from unsuspecting, unsuspecting, weak Guatemalans,” said Richstone.

The men, while walking in the street, were invited to hang out with Lopez-Ramos and his family i…

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Stand your ground defense denied for Jupiter hate crime suspect

A Palm Beach County judge denied the stand your ground defense for a Jupiter man charged with murdering a Guatemalan man in an alleged hate crime.

Judge Samantha Schosberg-Feuer denied David Harris’s motion to dismiss charges against him based on the “stand your ground” defense.

Officials say Harris, along with his brother Jesse Harris and another person, Austin Taggart, killed Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos outside a Jupiter home after a fight on April 18, 2015.

Schosberg-Feuer said in a 15-page ruling Friday that she denied him immunity from charges because she found the state showed his use of force during the 2015 fight was not justifiable.

In the ruling, Schosberg-Feuer said she believes the new change in Florida law that shifts the burden of proof from the defendant to the state applies retroactively and applies to thi…

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Judge to rule in ‘Stand your Ground’ defense for Jupiter hate crime suspect

A Palm Beach County judge is expected to rule if a man accused killing a Guatemalan man in an apparent hate crime was actually defending himself.

The third and final hearing for David Harris’s motion to dismiss charges against him based on the “stand your ground” defense from the 2013 case wrapped up Tuesday.

Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer said she will issue a written order on whether or not she believes Harris is immune from prosecution.

“I hope for the judge to be fair and go over the evidence thoroughly. If she decides that David has immunity, he’ll be set free,” said Franklin Prince, Harris's attorney.

Prosecutors for the state said they felt Harris was the initial aggressor, pointing out that Harris did not call 911 after the attack.

“This is in no way shape or form a stand your ground immunity,” said Palm Beach…

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‘Stand your ground’ defense hearing continues for Jupiter hate crime suspect

JUPITER, Fla. - A hearing to determine if a man accused of killing a Guatemalan man in an apparent hate crime was actually defending himself will continue into a third day.

Jupiter Police say David Harris, along with his brother Jesse Harris and another person, Austin Taggart, killed Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos on April 18, 2015.

David Harris is now claiming self-defense, arguing the killing falls under the “stand your ground defense.” The hearing began in December, and continued Tuesday in Palm Beach County court.

“David Harris was defending himself and his brother,” said Franklin Prince, Harris’ attorney. “When they found the boy, he was laying on top of a three-inch metal pipe that he was swinging at my client.”

Police reported the boys saying they were going “Guat hunting” the night of the murder. Harris testified tha…

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