The crew is joined by Chief Deputy District Attorney Brendan Farrell as he discusses a momentous win with a lawsuit against the State of California in effort to keep a convicted killer behind bars.
In July of 1997, Nathan Ramazini, then 16, and Leopoldo Contreras, then 19, brutally murdered their friend, 16-year-old Erik Ingebretson. Traumatizing the small town of Colusa forever.
Ramazzini was believed to be the driving force behind the killing and was tried as an adult. He was found guilty by a jury and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Contreras accepted a plea bargain from prosecutors and was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
Fast Forward to October 2017 where Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 394 that granted parole hearings to inmates sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed before the age of 18.
In an effort to keep a dangerous killer in jail, Chief Deputy District Attorney Brendan Farrell drafted a writ to the Court of Appeals that Senate Bill 394 violated the California Constitution. The writ was filed in June of 2018.
Meanwhile, SB 9, authorized a prisoner who was under the age of 18 at the time of committing an offense for which the prisoner was sentenced to life without parole to submit a petition for recall and resentencing, and in October of 2018, Ramazini did just that.
The case was brought back to Colusa County Courts and retraumatized a scarred community. Evidence was revisited, and statements reiterated. Four days later, Judge Jeffery Thompson upheld the original sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
However, SB 394 would have allow Ramazzini to be eligible for parole under the new law in July 2021. In October, Farrell finally received the opportunity in the Sacramento County Superior Court where Judge James Arguelies rolled that SB 394 was unlawful.
Pioneer Review articles written on this topic (paywall):
- 02/07/2018 – Ramazzini seeks reduced sentence, hearing set for May 10
- 05/09/2018 – Re-sentencing hearing for Ramazzini pushed back
- 06/27/2018 – District Attorney works to keep Ramazzini in jail
- 10/17/2018 – Ramazzini re-sentencing hearing begins Tuesday
- 10/24/2018 – Psychologist’s testimony the focus on first day of Ramazzini re-sentencing hearing
- 10/24/2018 – Community shows support for Ingebretsen family ahead of Ramazzini re-sentencing hearing
- 10/25/2018 –Ramazzini’s fate in Judge’s hand Final arguments and sentencing to be held Friday
- 10/31/2018 – Judge upholds teenage killer’s original sentence (Newspaper Version)
- 02/13/2019 – Indivisible group seek clarity on prison reform laws
- 12/11/2019 – DA’s effort to keep killer in prison moves forward
- 02/19/2020 – DA’s right to sue California Parole Board upheld
- 10/28/2020 – DA’s office fights State Legislature in Ramazzini case
- 11/04/2020 – DA prevails in lawsuit against State of California
Music by: Ingrid Witt, “Drama Drama Trauma”,