The Los Angeles man who has been charged in the murder of a Pico-Union transgender woman is scheduled to appear in court next week for the preliminary hearing.
TRANSGENDER WOMAN KILLED
Kevyn Ramirez, 29, has been charged with a special circumstance murder in the stabbing death of Victoria Ramos “Viccky” Gutierrez during an attempted first-degree robbery on Jan. 10, 2018, according to court documents.
Ramirez also allegedly set Gutierrez’s apartment on fire.
If convicted as charged, Ramirez faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The prosecutor has not yet decided which punishment to pursue, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has said.
Ramirez has entered a plea of not guilty.
Ramirez also has been charged with two other counts: arson with allegations of multiple structures and use of an accelerant.
Ramirez’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Ramirez is being held without bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s website.
A preliminary hearing is in essence a mini trial where evidence is presented to the judge. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court decides whether sufficient evidence exists to proceed with the case.
Because the Gutierrez case involves a “special circumstance,” it’s not unusual that it took more than a year to schedule a preliminary hearing, said Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman with the district attorney’s office.
For example, the defense and prosecution have requested several continuances because the district attorney is required to turn over all evidence during the discovery phase.
In this case, the prosecutor had to turn over a significant amount of evidence, including coroner and toxicology reports, audio transcription, and video surveillance, which can take months to obtain, she said.
Also, the schedules of the prosecutors, defense attorneys and the court often dictate the court hearing dates, she said.
Phillip Zonkel can be reached at 562-295-5996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.