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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Jupiter triple homicide suspect asks judge to declare FL death penalty law unconstitutional

JUPITER, Fla. - One of the suspects accused in the Jupiter triple homicide from Super Bowl Sunday night last year

is asking a Palm Beach County judge to declare Florida’s death penalty law unconstitutional.

Prosecutors have already announced they intend to seek the death penalty against

Christopher Vasata who faces three counts of first degree murder.

Vasata was the first suspect arrested and charged with the murders of Sean Henry, 26, Brandi El-Salhy, 24, and 20-year-old Kelli Doherty. All three were gunned down at a 2017 Super Bowl party on Mohawk Street in Jupiter.

Vasata was also injured in the shooting, and reportedly confessed to the killings from his hospital bed, but later denied his responsibility.  

Early on, prosecutors filed their notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

Now, his defense att…

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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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Suspect might be declared incompetent after paramedics killed in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - A man accused of killing two paramedics in a Jupiter crash in 2017 may be declared incompetent to stand trial. 

The defense team for the suspect, Genaro Ajqui, says so far two doctors have found him incompetent. If the court agrees with that assessment, he may be sent somewhere for treatment.

Police said Ajqui was under the influence when he crashed into an ambulance carrying EMTs Lahiri Garcia and Paul Besaw last June.

Besaw’s wife, Dawn, was in court Friday to show her continued support for justice.

“He’s never going to suffer what our family has suffered," Besaw said. "He’s never going to end up where my family has, but I would like to know there is justice."

Currently the court is asking for a third opinion. It will include jail medical records and jail calls made by the defendant. A decision as to…

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