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Murder trial to take a week-long hiatus

The trial of a Madera man accused of murder in a drive-by shooting will be on hold for the next week, while the preceding judge is out of the city.

At the Madera County Superior Courthouse, the last interview in the trial of David Solis Ramos, 22, was held Thursday, before Madera County Judge Dale J. Blea takes a leave of absence. The trial is expected to resume on Jan. 26.

“It has taken quite a bit of time and hard work on the part of my deputy district attorney,” said Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn. “However, this case is finally coming to a conclusion. I’m confident this case will resolve in a conviction, and that justice will be done.”

The prosecution for the case is being led by Deputy District Attorney David Petersen. Attorney Dan Harralson is leading the defense for Ramos.

Ramos is on trial for the murder of Jorge Navarro, 17. The investigation of the murder also led to the arrest of suspects Isaias Bazante, the alleged getaway driver, and Alejandro Jimenez. Jimenez and Ramos were both arrested following a stop by the Special Investigations Unit.

According to court records, Navarro was shot and killed on the evening of Sept. 3, 2013, while he was walking with his fiancé, Julia Morales, and a family member, near Road 27 and Martin Street. According to reports, a lone van pulled up on the three, and one suspect, after stepping out of the van, drew his gun, firing a single shot that struck Navarro in the head. The shooting is believed to be gang-related.

Another witness, Brandon Denney, was visiting his grandparents that night, when he saw the van pull up, and Navarro was killed. Brandon testified last week that he was unable to get a clear view of the suspect because he was at a distance, but did see the shooter fire once. After the shooting, Denney claimed to have run back inside to call 911.

The three suspects were arrested in October of that year.

Currently the trial is in the prosecution phase, and has included testimonies from witnesses to the shooting, the paramedic who responded, one of the arresting officers, and from Madera County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Robert Blehm, who was one of the investigators following the murder, when he was a detective.

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