LOS ANGELES - As Norma Ramirez looks at photos of her murdered 16-year-old son Ricardo Trujillo Ramirez, she wishes she could turn back time.
"To have him close to me, to be able to hug him," Ramirez said.
By all accounts, her son Ricardo was a good kid who was always helpful and loved sports. His biggest dream was to become a Green Beret. At 10, Ricardo joined the U.S. Cadet Corps and rose to Battalion Commander.
But on September 24, 2021, after attending a house party, Ricardo was shot dead. The person arrested was 17 and a half years old at the time of the murder.
Ramirez was just recently told that her son's alleged killer will not be tried as an adult.
"Supposedly, it wasn't a violent crime against my son because he wasn't tortured. But I am tortured, and so are Ricardo's siblings. Every day, that I have to wake up and go to sleep without him, I'm being tortured," she said.
Retired Los Angeles Police Detective Moses Castillo has been advocating for Ricardo's Mother. He's extremely disappointed in the prosecutor.
"He was advocating more for the accused killer in this case, who was 17-and-a-half when he committed the murder; it was violent and cold-blooded," Castillo said.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office issued the following statement:
"We extend our most sincere condolences to the victim's family and all who knew him. As we've said in other cases, we cannot automatically transfer minors in all serious cases, no matter how tragic. The legislature has established legal requirements for transfer, which we are ethically obligated to adhere to. Our JACE committee, comprised of experienced and high-level prosecutors, meticulously reviewed the facts of this case, applied the relevant laws, and assessed whether we believe the court will find that we have met the burden of proof for transferring the minor to the adult system. We believe a transfer hearing on this minor would not have been successful. It's crucial to emphasize that this legal burden is extremely high. As exemplified in the Cruishank case, even a minor accused of multiple murders was considered appropriate for juvenile court, regardless of LADA'S request to transfer to the adult system."
"For us, there is no second chance. We don't get a second opportunity because he's no longer here," Ramirez said.