Inmate accused in slaying during 2017 riot at Tecumseh State Prison may not stand trial for months

Inmate accused in slaying during 2017 riot at Tecumseh State Prison may not stand trial for months
Eric Ramos was charged with murder in the slaying of fellow inmate Michael Galindo. His first trial ended in a mistrial in August. KENT SIEVERS/THE WORLD-HERALD

LINCOLN — A retrial for a Tecumseh prison inmate accused of killing a fellow prisoner during a 2017 riot has been delayed, and may not be rescheduled for several months.

Erick Ramos, 28, was charged with first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon in the slaying of Michael Galindo during a riot on March 2, 2017, in which inmates took over a portion of the medium-maximum security prison. Another inmate was also found dead after riot squads retook the affected housing units.

In August, after more than a week of testimony, Ramos’ first trial ended in a mistrial. District Judge Vicky Johnson ruled that a Nebraska State Patrol investigator had violated a court order that banned witnesses called to testify from discussing the case with each other after the trial began.

A second trial had been set to begin Thursday but is on hold after Ramos’ attorneys claimed that a second trial would constitute unconstitutional “double jeopardy,” which bars an accused person from being tried twice for the same offense.

An evidentiary hearing on that motion has not yet been scheduled. Regardless of how the judge ultimately rules, the double jeopardy question is likely to be appealed to a higher court, which could take months to resolve.

The Nov. 2 motion filed by Ramos’ attorneys, Jeff Gaertig and Tim Nelsen, maintains that they were provoked or goaded into filing for a mistrial due to the actions of prosecutors.

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