Ramirez Lawyers Drop Bid to Delay Sentencing

Overriding objections from convicted Night Stalker Richard Ramirez, defense lawyers Monday withdrew a bid to delay his sentencing in 13 murders and 30 other felonies.

Ramirez, 29, a lanky devil worshiper from El Paso, Tex., who faces the death penalty, was scheduled to return to Los Angeles Superior Court today for sentencing.

Defense lawyers had filed a motion to postpone the sentencing, in part because they claimed the Oct. 17 earthquake in the Bay Area had interfered with their preparation for a new trial motion to be made before sentencing. Chief defense attorney Daniel Hernandez is based in San Jose, one of the areas rocked by the 7.1 magnitude temblor.

But on Monday, co-defense counsel Ray Clark withdrew that motion, saying he had decided that the defense will not seek a new trial before today's sentencing.

Clark said he now believes the best chance the defense has for a new trial will be when Ramirez's conviction goes to the state Court of Appeals.

Clark withdrew the motion even though Ramirez, who appeared in court, told him not to.

"Mr. Ramirez wishes the continuance (motion) to be heard," Clark told Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan.

Tynan allowed Clark to withdraw the motion anyway and said he probably would have denied it.

Ramirez was convicted Sept. 20 of 13 murders and 30 other felonies--including several rapes--committed during the Night Stalker serial killings that began in 1984 and terrorized Southern California in the summer of 1985.

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