Witnesses Detail Suspect’s Gang Ties in Homicide Trial 

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On April 2, before DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan, an ex-coworker and acquaintance of a homicide defendant failed to comply during his deposition testimony.  

Oscar Ramos, 34, is charged with first-degree murder while armed, two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and assault with intent to kill while armed for his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of 50-year-old Pedro Alvarado Melendez. The incident occurred on May 28, 2015, on Interstate 295 North at Exit One, in Southwest DC. The incident left another individual suffering from non-life-threatening injuries. 

On April 1, the prosecution presented a previously recorded deposition of an ex-coworker and acquaintance of Ramos. 

Due to the witness’ current immigration status, he was unable to testify in person, and the prosecution played the remaining deposition for the court. Through the recording, all parties referred to Ramos by his nickname, Silencio – which means “silence” in Spanish.

According to the prosecution, in the grand jury, the witness testified that “Silencio” told him about his luring of Alvarado through a “fake Facebook account as a woman.”

However, in the deposition, the witness declined to answer any more questions. “Where in the law is it where you can force me to answer questions I don’t want to answer?” the witness asked.

In the deposition, Judge Raffinan advised the witness he must answer the questions being asked by the prosecution. The witness then asked to speak with his lawyer. 

Due to time constraints, the deposition recording could not be concluded. 

The prosecution also called a witness who has a cousin who is an alleged gang member and friend of Ramos. The witness’ cousin is an alleged accomplice of Ramos in the shooting.

According to his testimony, the witness’ cousin and another individual were in the vehicle with Ramos when he allegedly killed Alvarado. 

During the witness’s testimony, the prosecution questioned him about the vehicles he owned in 2015. The witness claimed he owned a black Honda Civic and a white Ford Explorer. 

When the prosecution asked if he still owned the vehicles, the witness stated he did not own the Honda anymore. 

According to the witness, his cousin borrowed the vehicle and informed the witness it had been stolen on the day of the incident. 

A few months later, the witness received a call from a car shop where he learned his Honda had been located and was destroyed by fire.

The witness’ cousin offered to pay the $200 car shop fee to retrieve the car. However, he believes the cousin is currently incarcerated for an unrelated matter. 

The prosecution called a witness from the DC Medical Examiner’s Office who said Alvarado sustained six bullet wounds and one graze gunshot wound. Photos of the autopsy were shown to the jury.

The prosecution also called a woman who witnessed a vehicle become “engulfed” in flames off the Route Four service road while she was driving back home. 

The vehicle allegedly was the black Honda Civic stolen the day of the crime.

The last witness was a detective from Prince George’s Police Department.. 

The detective testified about a prior encounter with Ramos when he took photographs of Ramos’ torso, including the gang-related tattoos on his chest. 

When the prosecution questioned the detective if he knew the name of the individual in the photographs, the detective replied, “Antonio Gomez Hernandez.”

However, when the prosecution asked the detective if the individual in the photographs was present in the courtroom, the detective identified Ramos. 

Parties will reconvene on April 3 to resume trial. 

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