The Woodward News

Local News

March 15, 2013

Local official pleased with court's decision

Woodward, Okla. — Assistant District Attorney A. J. Laubhan said Thursday he was pleased with Wednesday's Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruling that reversed a judge's decision to suppress evidence against two Guatemalan brothers charged with first degree murder.

District Judge Ray Dean Linder had granted a defense motion to suppress statements given by Julio Juarez Ramos and Isidro Juarez Ramos to police after their arrests. The brothers allegedly confessed to killing Antonio Velasquez in May 2009 in Woodward County.

Linder ruled for the defense because authorities did not first contact the Guatemalan consulate as required by international guidelines.

The appeals court ruling means the statements can be used at the men's trial.

"We were pleased with the decision," Laubhan said. "Ours was the party that appealed it, so that's what we were hoping they would decide."

Defense attorney Newell Wright with the Oklahoma Indigent Defense Services said another appeal is not planned and the case would now go to a jury trial.

Laubhan said the next step would be a hearing on the case as a trial date has not been set. Since the decision was just made on Wednesday, Laubhan said discussions about a hearing date had not been held yet.

The Ramos brothers are accused of strangling Velasquez with a rope on May 16, 2009 over a dispute about a debt. They were arrested in Enid while in Velasquez's car, a Ford Mustang, according to court records, and the also reportedly had Velasquez’s wallet. They were questioned by police and reportedly took investigators to where Velasquez's body had been dumped in a rural area south of Mooreland, according to court records.

The case was delayed a number of times and progress was also slowed by language barrier issues, because they speak a Mayan dialect known as K'iche' and have only limited understanding of spoken Spanish and no understanding of English, according to the court records.

Prosecutors originally sought the death penalty but withdrew it in part due to the language barriers. They are now seeking life in prison for both men.

The Ramos brothers are currently being held in the Woodward County Jail.

Text Only
Local News
  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014

  • Winners of Cudd Legacy award named

    Three veterans of the oil industry will receive this year's Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award during the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention on Aug. 7 at the Woodward Conference Center.

    July 24, 2014

  • Benefit gun raffles underway

    Woodward Reserve police officers and other Woodward full time officers have come together to support one of their own.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014