2nd man found guilty in Aug. 12 garage beating in Charlottesville



At 4 p.m., the jury found Alex Michael Ramos guilty of malicious wounding. At 5:30 p.m., it recommended a prison sentence of six years with no fine.

On Thursday, 33-year-old Ramos, of Jackson, Georgia, became the second person convicted in the bloody group beating of DeAndre Harris after the failed Unite the Right rally last summer. On Tuesday, 22-year-old Jacob Goodwin was found guilty of malicious wounding, and a jury recommended a sentence of 10 years with the option of suspending some of the time.

The attack in the Market Street Parking Garage left Harris with a gash in his head that required eight staples, a chipped tooth and a broken wrist.

Proceedings in Charlottesville Circuit Court moved quickly in the second day of testimony, and the prosecution called a medical expert and a detective to the stand to talk about the injuries Harris suffered on Aug. 12.

Evan Pryse, a nurse practitioner from Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital’s emergency department, said he examined Harris’ injuries after Harris took a decontamination shower to rid his body of any chemical irritants.

Pryse said he used eight staples to close the wound on Harris’ head and put his wrist in a splint after determining Harris had a broken ulna. Though Harris reportedly said he fell awkwardly on his wrist, Pryse said the injury was not consistent with a fall and looked more similar to a defensive-type “nightstick” wound. But Pryse said he did not have a definitive idea of how the break occurred.

While examining Harris for a concussion, Pryse said Harris seemed confused about questions and had a hard time understanding some of his injuries.

Charlottesville police Detective Declan Hickey described treating Harris right after he got out of the parking garage. Hickey, a former combat medic, said he kept trying to engage Harris to keep him from passing out. He said Harris seemed to be in shock and told him that he had been hit in the head several times.

The Monday following the rally, Hickey opened an investigation into the matter and said he identified Ramos as a suspect from a combination of confidential tips, social media tips and consultation with local law enforcement in Ramos’ home state of Georgia.

Walking the jury through videos of the assault, Hickey pointed out where the assault began and when Ramos jumped in at the end to land a punch on Harris’ head. Ramos’ hand appears to be wrapped in a blue plaid shirt, he said.

While looking through Facebook posts later, Hickey said he came across one that reportedly was written by Ramos. The post reads, “We stomped some ass…getting some was f***ing fun.”

Hickey said Ramos seemed remorseful after his arrest.

Through the testimony, Ramos, wearing a white dress shirt, sat quietly and occasionally took notes. He never reacted to any of the testimony or video clips.

Both sides rested their cases before 1 p.m. Ramos waived his right to take the stand, and his attorney, Jake Joyce, declined to present any evidence.

In her closing argument, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina Antony asked the jury to remember that Ramos inserted himself into the altercation. She said Harris already was lying on the ground and being hit by other people when Ramos decided to throw a punch.

“Instead of moving on, we saw Mr. Ramos sprinting in,” Antony said. “He catapults himself into the fray.”

Calling it “classic assault and battery,” Joyce said his client only threw one punch — unlike some of the others charged in the case who used weapons. With a “battle royal” happening in the garage, Joyce said, there were a lot of taunts and provocation thrown around.

Joyce said Harris did not deserve what happened to him. But he asked the jury to think about Ramos’ actions in comparison to the other actors in the assault.

“I’m not asking you to find him not guilty,” said Joyce. “He is guilty of assault and battery.”

Deliberations took 35 minutes.

Ramos will be sentenced formally on Aug. 23.
Daily Progress

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