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.



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