Family Still Pursues Justice For Woman’s Murder Decades Later
WHITTIER (CBS) — A SoCal woman was beaten with a beer bottle, raped and stabbed to death and, nearly 30 years later, her family is still looking for justice.
The family of Kimberly Gonzales is preparing to relive the ordeal as the suspected killer gets a retrial.
“We’re really angry,” said the victim’s sister Yvette Mejia.
“And in disbelief that it could happen again,” said Alicia Valdez, another one of Gonzales’ sister. “We’re starting all over like it’s just happening but for us it wasn’t all over again. We’ve been living it for 28 years. We’ve been feeling the pain.”
Richard Raymond Ramirez, 52, has been tried twice for the murder — jurors in the first trial couldn’t reach a unanimous decision but the second jury did. He had been sitting on death row in San Quentin prison when he appealed his sentence and won. His case was overturned on a technicality.
Now, Orange County authorities want to retry the 52-year-old and the victim’s family said they’re hoping justice is finally served.
“You’re never the same, you’re never the same,” said the victim’s mother Helen Hernandez. “A part of us is missing, especially since it was such a horrendous death.”
A lot has changed in 28 years, including the use of DNA evidence. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has decided to retry Ramirez and, once again, seek the death penalty.
Kimberly Gonzales’ plans on attending the trial.
“We’re here to remind him, ‘You took somebody’s daughter, you took my sister, you took my niece’s and nephew’s aunt — they’ll never know her;,” said the victim’s sister Alicia Valdez.
Ramirez’s retrial starts Jan. 6 in Santa Ana.