Jury set for Marines accused of murder

OCEANSIDE — The jury was selected on Jan. 25 for the trial of one of two Camp Pendleton Marines accused of beating and fatally stabbing an auto shop business owner in a dispute about a car repair.
The defendant, former Lance Cpl. Raphael Ramey, now 21, sat attentively in a Vista courtroom while Superior Court Judge Joan P. Weber questioned nearly 75 prospective jurors.
Ramey and Pfc. Xavier Adams, 19 at the time of the 2009 homicide, are both charged with carjacking, robbery and the first-degree murder of Charles Evan Williams, along with the special allegation they both used a knife and were lying in wait.
Prior to the jury selection, Deputy District Attorney Minaz Bhayani said that Judge Weber had planned to show the potential jurors the most graphic picture of the murder victim to see who could “stomach it.”
A photo shows the victim after he suffered about 55 stab wounds, Bhayani said.
“I can tell you the photos are horrific,” he said.
During the jury selection, after one potential juror was questioned by Bhayani about the photo she was shown, she said that she didn’t realize the picture would be that graphic. She said it was very upsetting.
Each of the 73 potential jurors was used in the trial call, but Bhayani said that about 40 were excused for hardship reasons or because of the graphic nature of the case.
But a selection was made and the opening statements in the trial are set to begin Jan. 26.
The victim, 23, was stabbed more than 14 times in the neck.
He owned an automotive restoration shop, and Ramey was mad about the time period it was taking for his car to be restored, according to reports.
Adams will have a separate trial.

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