A Northern California grand jury has indicted two men accused of being involved in a dramatic bank robbery and subsequent police chase that left two suspects and a hostage dead in Stockton earlier this year, authorities said Monday.
In a 47-count indictment unsealed Monday, the San Joaquin County district attorney charged Jaime Ramos, 20, and Pablo Ruvalcaba, 21, with three counts of murder, robbery, multiple counts of kidnapping and more than 30 counts of attempted murder on a peace officer.
Though both men are eligible for the death penalty, only Ramos is accused of actually participating in the robbery and deadly pursuit that followed.
Ruvalcaba, who was arrested Friday, is alleged to have been the driver who dropped Ramos and two other men off at the Bank of the West on July 16.
Ramos and two accomplices robbed the bank, took three hostages, including a 42-year-old mother named Misty Holt-Singh, and fled in one of the captive's vehicles, police said.
Two of the hostages were wounded and ejected from the car during the chase but survived.
Police fatally shot two of the robbers and Holt-Singh during a shootout. Authorities contend that the suspects used the woman as a human shield.
"We'll never forget the pain … and we never will," Police Chief Eric Jones said of the incident at Monday's news conference.
Prosecutors have not decided if they will seek the death penalty against either defendant. Both men are due in court Jan. 5. Ramos and Ruvalcaba are also accused of committing the crime for the benefit of the Norteno street gang.
The chase was one of the most violent incidents in Stockton's history, Jones said. It spanned three counties and involved at least 35 officers. More than 20 officers discharged their weapons and 14 squad cars were hit with gunfire, officials said.