SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The man convicted of murdering an Iraq War veteran and Cal State Fullerton student claimed he is innocent in an Eyewitness News exclusive on Friday.
It was a case as chilling as it was tragic. Maribel Ramos, 36, was found buried in a shallow grave. She disappeared just days before her graduation at Cal State Fullerton.
During the two weeks she was missing, her roommate, Kwong Chol "KC" Joy spoke out.
"She is my best friend, in fact she is my only friend, my only family member I have," he said in the May 2013 interview.
Against the advice of his public defender, joy spoke to Eyewitness News on Friday from the Orange County Jail.
Only audio was allowed in the interview. Joy, convicted of second degree murder, said he does not want to wait for an appeal, and he wants a re-trial with evidence that was kept from the jury.
Joy disputed evidence used against him in the case, including the scratches on his body that prosecutors said was from a physical fight.
"According to the doctor, he said my scratches were non-specific abrasion. Doctors said they were not fingernail scratches. It was non-specific. It could be brush or anything," Joy said.
He also addressed the absence of physical evidence.
"They searched my apartment about seven times. No DNA. No finger print. No signs of foul play or anything," he said.
Prosecutors agree it was a circumstantial case. The key evidence was Joy's Internet search at a public library, zooming in on the very place where Ramos' body was found.
Joy says used the public access computer because police seized his laptop. But he says many people used the library computer. He also said he never googled the location of the grave site in Modjeska Canyon.
"No. That's it," he said. "In my assumption. I was set up. Straightforward."
The prosecution said that Joy loved Ramos, and they fought when she told him to leave.
Joy said they did go on one cruise together, but slept in separate beds.
"We always maintained we were good friends. We were platonic friends. She was like my sister," he said.
When asked who killed Ramos, he said he did not know.
Joy is now on a letter-writing campaign, trying to get a more vigorous advocate than his public defender. Joy awaits sentencing set for Sept. 12, as he faces 15 years to life in prison.