The trial of two men accused of a 2007 murder on Swain Drive in Lodi will continue next month.
Daniel Ramirez, 26, and Raymond Mercado, 20, were in court Tuesday morning for pre-trial proceedings that will continue Aug. 29. The main development Tuesday was the announcement that Russell Humphrey is being retained as legal counsel for Ramirez, said Michael Platt, Mercado's attorney, in a telephone call. All other aspects of the case, including the bonds for both defendants and the charges against them, remain the same, he said.
"Nothing else has changed," he said.
Both men were formally charged May 2 for their suspected roles in the Oct. 4, 2007 murder of Georgina Perez, who was visiting her family in Lodi. Mercado is accused of firing into a window of the duplex the victim was in, killing the grandmother of five. Perez was not the intended target and the shooter fired blindly into a covered window, police said during the investigation.
Mercado, who was 15 at the time, is charged with murder with a firearm and committing a crime to benefit a street gang. He also faces two unrelated misdemeanor charges. Ramirez, 26, is charged with street terrorism, gang activity and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Both men are being held on separate $5 million bonds.
The trial will continue in late August with a three-day preliminary hearing, Humphrey said.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at email@example.com.