A DuPage County jury deliberated for about six hours Wednesday night without rendering a verdict in the felony home invasion case of Kerin Ramirez.
Ramirez, a 21-year-old native of El Salvador and a former Harper College wrestler, stands accused of felony home invasion after he entered the Carol Stream-area home of a Wood Dale police sergeant in September 2011.
State's attorney spokesman Paul Darrah said jury members were released just before 10 p.m. after having asked only one question during deliberations.
Defense attorney John DeLeon said he didn't know what to think of the lack of a verdict after nearly six hours.
“You never know with a jury. They sure are thinking hard about it though,” he said. “We'll just come back tomorrow morning to get that not-guilty verdict.”
Last week, the officer testified he shot Ramirez after Ramirez entered his home early in the morning, refused to leave and attacked him.
The defense, up through Wednesday's closing arguments, maintained the veteran officer was the aggressor and that Ramirez accidentally wandered into the house because he was drunk and mistook it for a friend's house six doors away.
Jurors got one of their major pieces of evidence before deliberation Wednesday when Ramirez testified in his own defense.
He said his memory of late night of Sept. 23 and early morning of Sept. 24 is “very vague” after he left a nearby party after 3 a.m.
“It's hard to put things together, but I remember the door was open and I walked in. It was really dark, so I assumed everyone had gone home or fallen asleep,” Ramirez told jurors. “Next thing I know (the officer) has his gun pulled at me. I put my hands up and said 'Is this MIke's house?' There was no response.”
Ramirez said his memory is unclear as to when he was shot, but he remembers feeling a “warm sensation” in his stomach and then waking up hours later at Central DuPage Hospital.
“I don't remember much,” he said.
Two of his Harper wrestling teammates and friends also testified Wednesday that Ramirez was drinking heavily before he arrived at the party and continued drinking vodka once he arrived after 11 p.m. until he angrily left the party after 3 a.m. What he did between roughly 3:30 and 7 a.m. is unknown.
They also testified Ramirez was known to get “emotional and aggressive” when he was intoxicated.
“It was a drunken, stupid mistake that should keep Kerin from ever drinking again,” DeLeon said in closing arguments.
Prosecutors, however, argued that when ordered to leave, an angry Ramirez took his shirt off “like the Incredible Hulk,” and he attacked the officer and a neighbor who had come over to help when he heard there was a commotion.
Deliberations resume Thursday morning.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.