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Jose Ramirez, man accused of killing adoptive parents, to hear closing arguments Wednesday

PEORIA (WEEK) –Day two of the bench trial for Jose Ramirez completed Tuesday, with the court hearing jailhouse conversations and saw photos of the crime scene.

Ramirez is accused of killing his adoptive parents, Bradley University professor Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron in October 2018 but has pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution rested Tuesday after showing video from Ramirez’s jail house visits with two family friends, where Ramirez showed little remorse when asked about the brutal murder of his adoptive parents.

The conversation with the two women concentrated on life behind bars. In a casual manner they discussed his meals, Ramirez saying he was bored and wanted to read.

He brought up that he had been put on suicide watch after police found a suicide note that he says he wrote when he was 10 years old. When the women finally asked how he was doing emotionally, Ramirez had little to say.

“Just tired I guess. I know you guys probably want me to be like sad or, I’m sorry, but I’m not,” Ramirez said in the recorded visit.

In another visit someone asked him why he didn’t just leave, his answer pointing to struggles with depression.

Visitor: ” If you hadn’t done it in October, would you do it now?”

Jose: “All I know is that I would have just been gone, one way or the other.
I’d have either just killed myself or just moved away.”

The defense has argued there’s no physical evidence, only Jose’s admission.

Testimony Tuesday afternoon also included Peoria County Sheriff’s deputies who collected blood samples from the car Ramirez allegedly drove to dispose of the victims’ bodies. And a detective identifying materials the victims were found it that match the description Jose gave to police in his confession.

A DNA expert also confirmed the blood belonged to the victims.

But things go tense between the defense and Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood when Attorney Hugh Toner asked about the wounds on the bodies.

Toner: “You can’t tell us anymore than that?”
Harwood: “What more do you want to know?”
Toner: “What type of lacerations?”
Harwood: “A laceration is a laceration… is a laceration.”

A total of 11 witnesses were heard from in the first two days of the bench trial.

Ramirez who is pleading not guilty, despite a taped confession with police that was shown last week, declined to testify Tuesday.

The trial will continue with closing arguments at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Drew Veskauf

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