Erik’s Law to keep teen killers behind bars

Devin Ingebretsen Lombardi, with a blue rose for her slain brother Erik receives comfort and congratulations from friends and family outside the Colusa County Courthouse, on Oct. 26, 2018, after Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson upheld the killer’s life without parole sentence for the brutal slaying when both were just 16 years old. Lombardi is an advocate against SB 9 parole opportunities for brutal and sociopathic murderers.

The fight to keep Nathan Ramazzini and other convicted murderers who killed when they were minors locked behind bars is the motivation of a new bill introduced Feb. 20 by Assemblyman James Gallagher and Sen. Jim Nielsen. 

The North State Republicans said they are looking for justice for Erik Ingebretsen and his family, who thought Ramazzini would be locked up behind prison walls for life.  

Ramazzini was convicted in 1998 for first degree premeditated murder, lying in wait, plus one year for using a bat and knife to kill and mutilate his childhood best friend when both boys were just 16 years old. 

“Some crimes are committed in a matter that is too heinous and inhumane for society to excuse,” said Nielsen, in a statement. “In the North State, the cruelty of Erik Ingebretsen’s murderer cannot – and should never – be pardoned. This individual preyed on the trust of a friend and brutally took the life of a promising teenager from his family and loved ones.”

Assembly Bill 665, which is named “Erik’s Law,” would repeal provisions set forth by Senate Bill 394, passed by California Democrats and signed into law by then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017, which allows Ramazzini and other juveniles convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole an opportunity to be released after serving 25 years. 

Ramazzini’s first parole hearing would be July 2021, and it is something Ingrebretsen’s family said would only serve to bring up old wounds.  

“Having to endure our nightmare repeatedly only serves to victimize and retraumatize us,” said Erik’s sister, Devin Lombardi, at a press conference last week at the State Capitol. “We are left wondering when and how we are ever supposed to heal.”

Gallagher, who introduced Erik’s Law, said Ramazzini should never be released from prison.

 “My colleagues need to listen to voices like Devin and take action to reform our laws to ensure that dangerous sociopaths stay behind bars and victims receive justice,” Gallagher said. ■