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Ex-suspect in Bryan Stow beating case not allowed to leave prison

Giovanni Ramirez is shown in this file photo.

September 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The exonerated former suspect in the Giants fan beating case was denied a request to be freed from state prison.

A Los Angeles County judge denied the request, which alleged that Giovanni Ramirez's due process rights were violated.

The Los Angeles Police Department arrested Ramirez in May as the prime suspect in the violent beating of Giants' fan Bryan Stow on opening day at Dodger Stadium on March 31. Police said that after the game, two men attacked Stow in the stadium parking lot. He was knocked down, beaten and left in critical condition with head injuries.

Ramirez was held in jail and then sent to state prison for violating the conditions of his parole.

Ramirez, 31, has always maintained that he was not involved in the beating. Several witnesses have also come forward to police saying Ramirez was not at the game the night of the incident.

After further investigation, the LAPD arrested Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood as the assailants and exonerated Ramirez.

However, this was not enough to spring Ramirez from prison. He was on parole for earlier run-ins with the law and the new arrest, where LAPD found a gun in a home he was staying in, constituted violation of his parole. A parole board commissioner sent him back to state prison for 10 months without possibility of early release due to the weapons violation.

Ramirez's lawyer Christopher Smith claims Ramirez's due process was violated because the state failed to prove that his client knew about the gun found in a laundry basket at his home.

"Our argument is that there definitely wasn't sufficient evidence to find him in violation of his parole for access to a firearm because there was no indication from the record anywhere that he would have had knowledge that that particular item was inside of that residence," Smith told Eyewitness News.

Smith alleges officials kept his client in jail, waiting to formally charge him in the Stow beating case - which never happened.

In denying Smith's request to release Ramirez, Judge Patricia Schnegg wrote that she believes Ramirez knew about the gun since it was in a common area in the home. Smith said an appeal will be filed.

"I don't see any violation there," said Ramirez's mother, Soledad Gonzalez. "Everybody knows his name already, everybody knows his face. Everybody's saying things that are not right."

Ramirez is slated to be released late April 2012.

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