Trial set in 2015 alleged hate-crime murder of Guatemalan teen


A trio of teens accused of a hate-motivated beating death of an 18-year-old Guatemalan immigrant probably will stand trial in November.

A Palm Beach County judge on Tuesday set a Nov. 27 trial date for brothers David and Jessie Harris and Austin Taggart, charged with robbery and murder in the 2015 death of Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos, who police discovered unconscious exactly two years ago Tuesday while investigating a report of a fight in the 300 block of Fourth Street, near Hepburn Avenue in the Townsite section of Jupiter.

Lopez-Ramos, 18, never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the scene. Prosecutors believe the teens targeted him because of his ethnicity.

In a hearing in the case Tuesday, attorneys on both sides of the case told Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer they expected to finish witness interviews over the summer. Defense attorneys also said that at some point they will likely request that the three men face trial separately.

Feuer, in the meantime, on Tuesday set a final pretrial hearing in the case for Oct. 27.

At the time of his death, Lopez-Ramos had dropped out of Jupiter High School in order to work full-time to support relatives back in Guatemala.

An aspiring chef, Lopez-Ramos was on his way home from work at an Italian restaurant when he was attacked. Investigators say he died from blunt force head trauma.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Delray Beach Vice Mayor Jim Chard stepping down to run for mayor
Delray Beach Vice Mayor Jim Chard stepping down to run for mayor

DELRAY BEACH — Vice Mayor Jim Chard, elected in March to a three-year term, will step down from the city commission to run for mayor in the upcoming municipal election. Chard, a retired business executive, filed paperwork Monday to run for mayor in the March 2018 election. He will submit a letter of resignation...
Ocean Ridge police warn residents after rash of car burglaries
Ocean Ridge police warn residents after rash of car burglaries

Town police officers are urging residents to lock their cars and keep valuables out of sight after a series of car burglaries happened this past weekend. Also, a car was stolen, according to a statement from police released Monday.  The vehicles were left unlocked. In some cases, valuables, garage door remotes and vehicle keys were left inside...
NEW: Former Florida teacher accused of giving student STD
NEW: Former Florida teacher accused of giving student STD

A former teacher in Central Florida was arrested on Saturday after accused of having a sexual relationship with a student for months, police said.  Alex Palomino, 27, faces charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  On Oct. 9, the father of the 17-year-old victim told police about the relationship when...
12-year-old girl accused of setting 10-year-old brother on fire
12-year-old girl accused of setting 10-year-old brother on fire

Police arrested a 12-year-old Alabama girl over the weekend after authorities said she set her younger brother on fire, according to multiple reports. Dothan police told WTVY that family members took the girl’s 10-year-old brother to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center on Friday night with serious burns on his body. Police investigator...
Men accused of pouring insecticide in Walmart toy department
Men accused of pouring insecticide in Walmart toy department

Two men are accused of pouring insecticide in the children's toy department of a Tennessee Walmart over the weekend, according to authorities. Millington police said the incident happened Sunday.  The men were seen on video "vandalizing property and intentionally spilling insecticide chemicals in the children's toy department,"...
More Stories