He dodged a major legal bullet in December, but a Goshen man is still going to prison.
24-year-old Diego Ramos pleaded guilty this week to synthetic ID deception, a level 6 felony, and using counterfeit government documents, a Class A misdemeanor. He made the pleas before a scheduled April 27 trial, according to the Elkhart Truth.
Ramos was found not guilty of murdering Jose Nava-Orozco and Marco Carmona-Gonzalez in their Goshen home in March 2016. In February, a judge found him not guilty at his bench trial after a witness, Luis Rivas, refused to testify against him. The judge determined that the state couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ramos was the shooter.
On the false ID charges, Ramos was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on the felony charge. The judge also sentenced him to a year on the misdemeanor, but ordered that be served at the same time as the felony.
Ramos said in court that he plans on appealing, offering instead to return to Mexico and stay there if he’s given a two-year suspended sentence.
“I was trying to earn an honest living, though I know that’s no justification to break the law,” Ramos told the judge. “It wasn’t my choice to come here.”
A judge disagreed, noting that Ramos would be required to find a job if his sentence was suspended, and he can’t legally do that. Also, Ramos has a history of traffic violations, made worse by the fact he never has had legal documents.