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Elyria murder suspect to be tried as adult

  • Ramey-MUG-jpg

ELYRIA — The murder and felonious assault charges against 16-year-old Darius Ramey will be handled in the adult criminal justice system, a county judge ruled Friday.

Lorain County Juvenile Court Judge Lisa Swenski wrote in her decision that prosecutors had shown there was probable cause to send the case to a grand jury for review. She also ordered Ramey to remain at the county’s Juvenile Detention Home rather than Lorain County Jail. Ramey’s bond was set at $250,000.

Because of the nature of the charges against Ramey and his age, the law required the case against him to be sent to the adult system if probable cause was found.

Ramey is accused of shooting 31-year-old Kenneth Shinafelt once in the head July 11 during an encounter on Reeves Avenue in Lorain.

A 16-year-old friend of Ramey’s, who was walking with him the night of the shooting, said the two teens had encountered Shinafelt and another man and the two groups had exchanged words from opposite sides of the street.

He said the other group made mention of having a gun and trying to get a gun before he saw Ramey raise the weapon he was carrying and point it in Shinafelt’s direction.

The witness told Swenski that he was running when he heard two gunshots. Another witness testified that Ramey later said that he was protecting a friend when he fired.

Investigators had said they suspect that Ramey fired the gun, which hasn’t been recovered, from a distance of at least 30 yards.

Defense attorney Anthony Baker has argued that it’s possible Shinafelt was killed by one of the people he was with rather than Ramey.

Baker said Friday that given the low standard of proof needed to send a juvenile case to the adult system he wasn’t surprised by Swenski’s decision.

“It’s hard to get the case dismissed at this point when you have a witness saying he at least possessed a handgun,” Baker said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

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