FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — A convicted felon and gang member has been sentenced to life for recklessly shooting his gun out a car window during a “drunken, drug-fueled” rage in 2011.
An innocent man was shot and killed inside his apartment during the incident.
Thomas Ramirez, 29, was convicted of murder in the death of Ivan Daniel Valenzuela and must serve 30 years before he is eligible for parole.
During the trial, prosecutors laid out the events the led up to the shooting.
On the afternoon of Aug. 21, Ramirez picked up his girlfriend in Dallas and drove towards Arlington, where they planned to visit his sister’s home.
According to prosecutors, Ramirez was intoxicated and driving his red Suburban erratically while snorting cocaine.
When the two arrived at the home, Ramirez did not exit the vehicle, but instead began to drive around the neighborhood. At one point, Ramirez pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and began randomly shooting out the window.
Ramirez was arrested a short time later in an elderly couple’s home, where he had fled in an attempt to evade police.
Police found the body of Valenzuela the next day in front of a window inside his apartment. Ballistics matched the bullets that killed Valenzuela to those fired from the handgun.
Ramirez has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary, assault, and theft. Prosecutors also say Ramirez is an active gang member.
“This defendant is so dangerous he kills people even when he’s not trying to kill people,” said Prosecutor Robert Huseman. “The only way to deal with a defendant like this is to incarcerate him for life so he can no longer harm our community.”
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