Jury Convicts Joseph Ramirez Perez, 21, of Second Degree Murder in Tongva Park
Tussle between 2 homeless men leads to stabbing. Defendant faces up to 30 years
September 23, 2019
Update, 3/12/20: we received the following comment by email:
"You should check your facts when you're writing an article otherwise you're a gossiper not a journalist. I am the sister of the deceased and they definently didn't know the motive. I have also spoken to the defended. He clearly stated that was not what happened at the scene as I referenced you're article. It is very disrespectful to write rumors or to spectate when you dont know the truth. My brother was asleep and defenseless when he was stabbed. I would appreciate if you either take this post down or write an article about the truth.--Kayla"
A 21 year old man has been convicted of stabbing another homeless man to death in Tongva Park, yards from City Hall and the Police Dept Headquarters, last year.
"He hasn't been sentenced yet," said Deputy DA Brenda Chan, the prosecutor. "Yesterday (9/16/19) he was found guilty by a jury, of second degree murder. He will be sentenced for murdering someone with a knife in Tongva Park on October 3, 2018."
In a body camera video presented to the Jury as People's Exhibit 7, the victim twice identified the defendant as "Jesse Ramirez." Joseph Ramirez Perez went by that name. The victim died, making the exhibit admissible hearsay, under the dying declarations exception.
The victim and defendant were both homeless men, living in the park. They had a fight over a bag of weed, and the defendant took out a knife allegedly stabbing the victim.
On October 3 at about 8:12 p.m., Santa Monica Police Department officers responded to a radio call for service at Tongva Park, located at 1615 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica regarding an assault with a deadly weapon. Officers found a man on a park bench suffering from a stab wound in the abdomen area, and saw another man running away from the crime scene. SMPD officers were able to quickly detained the suspect, Perez, for an investigation, and arrested him shortly after, police said.
Santa Monica Fire Department Paramedics responded to the scene to treat the victim and transported him to a local hospital, where he died, police said.
In a preliminary investigation, SMPD Detectives found that the victim may have been sleeping on a park bench prior to the assault, .
Perez was booked for murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He remains in custody at SMPD Jail with a $2 million bail, police said.
Defense attorney was Alternate Public Defender Sarah Huntley.