Lindsay man found guilty of killing Exeter man
Dying declaration seals man's fate
A Tulare County jury Friday found Elias Ramos of Lindsay guilty of first degree murder and the personal use of a firearm in the July 25 shooting death of Federico Acuna in Exeter.
The defendant is set for sentencing in Department 12 of the Tulare County Superior Court on Feb 19. On that date, he will face a sentence of 50 years to life in prison.
In the early morning hours of July 25, 2012, 23-year-old Ramos shot and killed 30-year-old Acuna at his residence in the Exeter area.
At approximately 5:15 a.m., Ramos called Acuna and told him he would pick him up for work at his house. Ramos arrived at Acuna’s residence only to find that Acuna was not yet ready to go. Ramos left the area in his grey van. Approximately 10 minutes later, Ramos returned to the residence. Acuna was speaking to his mother on his cell phone at the time he walked outside of his residence, toward Ramos’ waiting van.
As Ramos waited inside the van he removed a shotgun shell from a compartment in the front of his van. Ramos got out of his van and walked to the rear of the vehicle. Ramos opened the rear door and removed a single-shot 20-gauge shotgun from the rear and loaded it with the shell. Ramos then walked up to Acuna and stood within 2 to 5 feet of him and aimed the shotgun at him. Ramos fired the shotgun, hitting Acuna in the mid-chest area. Ramos fled the area at a high rate of speed.
Acuna was able to stumble back inside his residence and told the other occupants, “If I die, it was Elias Ramos that shot me,” said the District Attorney’s office in a press release.
Acuna’s dying declaration was also recorded during the 911 call. Acuna was transported to Kaweah Delta Emergency where he later died from the gunshot wound.
Tulare County Sheriff’s Department executed a search at Elias Ramos’ residence in Lindsay.
During the search, the 20-gauge shotgun used to murder Acuna was located under a rear seat of another van located on the property. Ramos was arrested and taken into custody.
The case was investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Brenda Broker.