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updated: 9/20/2013 5:32 AM

Probation for wrestler shot in Wood Dale cop's home

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  • Kerin Ramirez

      Kerin Ramirez

 

A former Harper College wrestler who drunkenly wandered into a police officer's home and left with a gunshot wound was sentenced Thursday to probation and time served.

Kerin Ramirez, 21, was sentenced by DuPage County Judge George Bakalis, who in July acquitted him of home invasion and convicted him of felony trespass, a lesser charge.

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Bakalis said Ramirez was clearly intoxicated when he mistakenly entered the Wheaton-area home of Wood Dale police Sgt. Michael Peters early Sept. 24, 2011. He said Peters, whose wife and 4-year-old son were present, was justified in opening fire because Ramirez was belligerent and wouldn't leave.

"This placed officer Peters and his family in a very serious situation," Bakalis said.

Prosecutors sought a maximum three-year prison term, but Bakalis said it would be pointless because Ramirez already spent more than 18 months in jail and would be immediately paroled.

Instead, he ordered Ramirez to complete two years of probation, during which he will be regularly tested for alcohol and drug use. Ramirez, who had no prior criminal record, also received a 180-day jail term, which is considered already served.

Peters, who has testified he shot Ramirez in the abdomen after the unarmed intruder attacked him, attended Thursday's hearing but declined to comment afterward.

Ramirez told the judge he was sorry for his actions. He said he has a job and has returned to Harper College in Palatine, where he hopes to wrestle again.

"It's a work in progress," Ramirez, who sustained serious injuries in the shooting, said outside of court.

Defense attorney Gal Pissetzky sought time served but said Ramirez would comply with probation. He described his client as "extremely remorseful" and "committed" to sobriety.

"All in all, the judge sees (probation) as a condition to keep Kerin away from alcohol," he said. "I think he wants to make sure Kerin is dry for the next two years."

Ramirez previously stood trial in April but the jury was unable to reach a verdict after hearing conflicting testimony.

Peters maintained Ramirez engaged him in a lengthy and unprovoked fight, while Ramirez contended he was trying to return to a party on the same street and was almost immediately shot upon walking into the wrong house.

The case sparked a demonstration by Ramirez supporters last year outside the courthouse in Wheaton. Had he been convicted of home invasion, the former Addison man could have faced up to 30 years in prison.

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