Trial begins for man charged in 2011 Valentine's Day slaying
Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday in the trial of a 50-year-old man from unincorporated Cook County charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 14, 2011, slaying of his wife.
Prosecutors say Heriberto Ramirez stabbed his wife Alicia Ramirez 34 times following an argument that began during the early morning hours of Valentine's Day at their home in the Touhy Mobile Home Park near Des Plaines, just north of O'Hare International Airport.
The fight broke out after their daughter, then 19, left for work. After the couple's younger daughter heard her mother scream, the then 9-year-old dialed 911 and told the emergency operator that "her daddy was beating her mommy," said prosecutors at Ramirez's first courtroom appearance, during which Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon set his bail at $10 million.
Cook County Sheriff's Police arrived within minutes, authorities said, and asked Ramirez if anything was wrong. He replied no, at which time the 9-year-old entered the room and told police her mother was in the bathroom, authorities said.
Police found the lifeless body of Alicia Ramirez, 45, on the bathroom floor with facial bruises and a black eye, along with wounds to her chest, abdomen, neck, shoulders, legs, arms and wrists, some of which prosecutors characterized as defensive in nature.
The Department of Children and Family Services took custody of the minor child. Ramirez remains at Cook County Jail.
Records show the couple had lived at the mobile home park since 2005. Sheriff's police responded to the home twice for verbal arguments and in 2010 they responded to a domestic battery call, authorities said.
If convicted, Heriberto Ramirez could face from 20 to 60 years in prison.
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