Stockton, CA – An important distinction in our legal system is that between belief and proof. While prosecutors and law enforcement officers may believe that a certain individual or group is responsible for several crimes or is guilty of the most severe charges, they are forced to limit the charges they file against a defendant to what they think the evidence proves. Of course, the defendant also has the right to legal representation so that they can adequately defend themselves against criminal allegations.
On Monday, an alleged bank robber is due to be arraigned at the San Joaquin County courthouse. Jaime Ramos, 19, was arrested after a deadly shootout between three men who had taken hostages during a bank robbery in Stockton on Wednesday and police officers. Two of the robbery suspects were killed as was one of the hostages, Misty Jean Holt-Singh, whom Ramos had allegedly used as a human shield.
On Wednesday, three armed men took over a Bank of the West branch in Stockton and held the employees and customers hostage. They were dropped off by a fourth man who police are still searching for. Before a hostage negotiator arrived at the bank, the three men drove away with the manager and two employees using the manager's Ford Explorer. A police pursuit ensued with the suspects firing assault weapons at police officers. During the chase two of the hostages either jumped or were thrown from the vehicle. After officers shot out the vehicle's tires, the suspects and SWAT officers exchanged fire. Two of the suspects, Alex Martinez, 27, and Gilbert Renteria Jr., 30, were killed and Ramos was taken into custody.
Police believe the suspects may have carried out a robbery with a similar MO at the same bank in January, but it is unknown if Ramos will be charged for that as well. An attorney for Holt-Singh's family has requested that the Stockton Police Department release more information regarding her death.
At an arraignment, a criminal suspect is officially informed of the charges against them and enters their plea. No matter how a defendant intends to plea, the most important decision they can make is to hire a criminal defense attorney. An attorney has years of training and experience that allows them to effectively protect their client's rights and interests and ensures that due process is observed in a criminal trial.
At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti in Orange County, our attorneys specialize in criminal defense and we are proud of our record of having the charges against our clients reduced or dismissed. Our team of skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys has been practicing law across Southern California for over 16 years. In that time, we've built up strong working relationships with local judges, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies that allow us to give our clients the best possible defense in state and federal courtrooms in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and Ventura Counties.
It isn't just our reputation for quality representation and professional ethics that have made us a fixture in Southern California's legal scene; it's our commitment to serving our clients. We make sure that everyone who comes to our firm receives individual attention from our staff of highly qualified legal professionals. Our offices are located in Garden Grove, Irvine, Santa Ana, and Newport Beach, near Orange County's Superior and US district courts. We are proud to serve our diverse local community by offering foreign language assistance to our clients as needed.
Lin, Rong-Gong, II. "Stockton bank robbery suspects may have been involved in earlier heist." http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-suspects-stockton-bank-robbery-earlier-heist-20140719-story.html. Los Angeles Times. July 19, 2014.
Serna, Joseph. "Suspect in deadly Stockton bank heist due in court." http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-stockton-bank-robbery-arraignment-due-20140721-story.html. Los Angeles Times. July 21, 2014.