SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The defendant in the beating of a Sacramento taxi cab driver withdrew his guilty plea today and says that he wants a new lawyer.
Pedro Ramirez, 32, previously admitted as part of a plea bargain to the unprovoked attack of a Sikh cab driver last November because he thought the cabbie was Muslim. The cab driver ended up with cuts and fractures to his face and a broken spine.
Ramirez was expected to receive a 13-year sentence today, but instead he told the judge that he intended to withdraw from his plea deal, and said he wanted a new lawyer.
“We’re very disappointed that Mr. Ramirez has decided to go back on his word and it’s the last resort of a guilty party,” said Amar Shergill, the victim’s attorney.
Ramirez’s wife, Laura, believes her husband is getting a raw deal. She doesn’t claim he’s innocent, but says what happened wasn’t racially motivated. She even accuses the victim of lying and of changing his story.
“Three days later he goes back and talks to his leaders they made it political… No racial slurs ever said all propaganda,” said Laura. “My husband is getting railroaded here are other people here, too, lives are affected,” said the victim’s wife, Laura Ramirez.
Ramirez is due back in court on April 15. A second suspect, Johnny Morales Jr., went forward with his plea deal and was sentenced to 300 days in prison and three years of probation.