Ramirez Found Guilty In Shooting Of Raleigh Cop
Posted December 6, 2001 4:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — A jury has found Custodio Ramirez guilty on all counts in the shooting of a Raleigh police officer.
Ramirez was found guilty on two counts of assault and one count of attempted murder in the shooting of Raleigh police officer David Powell. Powell was shot outside a sports bar in July where he was working off-duty security.
Before the sentencing phase of the trial, Powell stood up to talk to the judge.
"I'm just glad that the system worked and that this is a message that this type of crime will not be tolerated," he said. "This act from this one individual changed my life, it changed my wife's life and changed my family's life."
Powell's wife, Rhonda, who is also a police officer, was comforted in the courtroom by the family of Raleigh police officer Paul Hale. Hale was shot in the line of duty in 1997.
"I'm just blessed he's still here. Although we do this job, we know it could end up in a tragedy," she said.
"This kind of random violence is very scary to everyone in the community," said district attorney Colon Willoughby.
During the sentencing phase, Ramirez apologized to Powell for the shooting. Ramirez received the maximum sentence, which could be up to 32 years in prison.
"He spoke from the heart when he apologized to David Powell, and he's doing as well as can be expected right now," said defense attorney David Brannon.
Powell said when he recovers, he intends to go back to work.
"A lot of people think I'm crazy, but I'm going to go back," he said. "They think I'm crazy, but I'll go back. I'm looking forward to going back."
Powell, who still has nerve damage and walks with a cane, hopes to return to work in the spring. Brannon said he intends to appeal the case on his client's behalf.