The trial of co-defendants Daniel Ramirez and Raymond Mercado was delayed Monday morning because Ramirez does not yet have legal representation. Both men are on trial for their alleged roles in a 2007 murder of a grandmother who was visiting her family in Lodi.
Mercado, 18, is charged with murder with a firearm and committing a crime to benefit a street gang, as well as two separate misdemeanor charges. Ramirez, 26, is charged with street terrorism, gang activity and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Although an attorney was present on Ramirez’s behalf at Monday’s proceedings, the lawyer has not officially been hired by Ramirez.
He was given three weeks to select an attorney by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Franklin Stephenson so a plea could be entered and the trial could begin.
“If pleas are not entered to the court by June 21, the court will enter pleas and begin the trial,” Stephenson said.
The men will stand trial for the murder of Georgina Perez, who was killed Oct. 4, 2007 as she visited a daughter and her grandchildren in Lodi.
Mercado, who was 15 years old at the time of the shooting, is accused of firing into the window of a duplex on Swain Drive, killing the grandmother of five. Perez was not the intended target and the shooter fired at a covered window, police said.
Ramirez and Mercado will be back in court June 21 at 8:30 a.m. Both men are being held on a $5 million bond.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.