A man who allegedly engaged in a road rage clash with an elderly driver in Oceanside, then killed another man who tried to intervene, was ordered Thursday to stand trial on a murder charge.
Richard Jack Ramirez, 53, is accused in the Feb. 5 death of 45-year-old Ralph Hermosillo, who was stabbed in the neck on Westridge Drive, according to preliminary hearing testimony.
Prior to the altercation with Hermosillo, Ramirez and a 75-year-old motorist got into a fender bender just before 5 p.m.
The senior citizen testified that following the crash, Ramirez angrily approached his driver's side door and said, "Get the (expletive) over there'' and pointed across the street. He testified that out of fear, he drove away from the scene to his home on Westridge Drive and Ramirez followed him there.
Once there, an argument over the fender bender ensued, witnessed by Hermosillo, who was helping the elderly driver renovate his house.
Prosecutors allege that while Hermosillo spoke with Ramirez, at some point, Ramirez stabbed him in the neck. Hermosillo then fell to the ground and while lying there, Ramirez allegedly kicked him in the head, then drove away.
Police and paramedics later arrived and began treating Hermosillo, who was bleeding from his head and not breathing, according to Oceanside Police Department Officer Tom Bussey. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ramirez was booked into county jail the following day.
Defense attorney Alvaro Gonzalez alleged Ramirez killed Hermosillo in self-defense because Hermosillo swung a machete at him.
Hermosillo's DNA was found on a machete's handle, and Gonzalez noted statements from Ramirez's girlfriend, who was a passenger in the defendant's car when the altercation occurred. She claimed she saw Hermosillo wielding the machete, which was found near the scene.
Deputy District Attorney Matt Hardy argued there was "zero evidence'' indicating the machete was used in an aggressive manner and highlighted testimony of the elderly driver, as well as neighbors on Westridge, none of whom said they saw the victim brandishing the machete at Ramirez.