Homicide suspect ruled competent enough to stand trial

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A judge ruled Tuesday 20-year-old Albert Ramirez, accused of shooting his mother’s boyfriend in 2007, is competent to stand trial.

District Judge Teddy Hartley issued the ruling after hearing testimony Monday from a clinical psychologist with the New Mexico Department of Corrections who evaluated Ramirez.

No trial date has been set.

Dr. Joanne Burness told the court Ramirez is a “disturbed young man” who likely has a mood disorder but is not mentally ill, court records showed.

She said Ramirez experiences hyperactivity, is easily angered and seeks sympathy, but that he understands and can assist in his defense, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Burness also told the court that during treatment, Ramirez inquired about how he could get his charges reduced and talked a lot during the three months he was there about the value of being found not competent.

Ramirez is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 39-year-old Eladio Robledo.

Police said Ramirez shot Robledo outside a Sixth Street home the victim shared with Ramirez’ mother.

The subsequent investigation revealed a history of violence Ramirez directed at his mother and Robledo. Prior to the shooting, Debra Ramirez had filed no trespass orders against her son and told police she was afraid of him.

At the Monday hearing, defense attorney Brett Carter asked the judge to return Ramirez to Las Vegas for further treatment.

Carter argued that Ramirez was not tested thoroughly and that he does not believe he can assist in his defense.

Ramirez was transferred in June to the Behavioral Health Institute at Las Vegas, N.M., for treatment after he was declared dangerous and incompetent.

Ramirez’ criminal case had been put on hold pending the outcome of the evaluations.