Jury Rehears Testimony on Ramirez Dental Work

From Associated Press

Jurors in the trial of accused Night Stalker Richard Ramirez asked Tuesday to hear again the testimony of three dentists who described their treatment of Ramirez’s teeth problems.

Jurors returned to the courtroom for the first time since they began deliberating July 26 and listened intently as a court reporter sat on the witness stand and read the transcript of what the doctors had said.

The testimony, which came in April and June, related to questions about whether Ramirez was the attacker with bad teeth identified by numerous victims of attacks in the summer of 1985.


Alibi Challenged

The dental evidence also was used by the prosecution to refute an alibi provided by Ramirez’s father, who claimed that his son was in his native El Paso, Tex., during the week of three of the attacks. The dentist said his records showed he had treated Ramirez in Los Angeles during the same period.

During the 90 minutes of reading, Ramirez, clad in a charcoal gray suit and tie, sat slumped in his chair at the counsel table, occasionally conferring with Richard Salinas, a member of the defense team.

After a court reporter finished reading the testimony of the dentists, the panel resumed its deliberations.

The jury, which heard about six months of testimony, is considering 13 murder charges and 30 related felonies in the case of the 29-year-old drifter.

Ramirez is accused in a string of nighttime attacks which terrified Southern California as a killer entered homes through unlocked windows and doors.

The assailant sometimes left behind a pentagram or forced his victims to “swear to Satan.” Many of his victims were men whose wives were then raped and beaten. But women also were killed--some of them elderly, some young students.


Defense Argument

In final arguments, the defense told jurors that many of the witnesses were mistaken in their identification of Ramirez as the killer. The prosecutor said Ramirez clearly was the Night Stalker and asked for conviction on all charges. He called the killings “consummate acts of cowardice.”

Ramirez faces a possible death sentence if convicted and remains in custody without bail.

He faces trials in San Francisco for a 14th murder and in Orange County for an attempted murder and sexual assault.