Man convicted of fatally stabbing wife; daughter, 9, made 911 call
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter November 15, 2012 2:20PM
Updated: November 15, 2012 4:54PM
Heriberto Ramirez told a Cook County jury he didn’t remember stabbing his wife to death in the family’s trailer home next to O’Hare Airport.
But the couple’s 9-year-old daughter dialed 911 from another room and in a frightened voice told the dispatcher her father was attacking her mother.
“My dad, my dad is hitting my mom,” Greta Ramirez said in the recorded call, which was played for jurors hearing Ramirez’s murder trial.
The jurors believed the girl’s account of the deadly attack. After a half hour of deliberations, they convicted Ramirez, 50, of stabbing his wife 34 times during the early morning argument on Feb. 14, 2011 .
Alicia Ramirez, 45, was found slain that morning in the family’s trailer after sheriff’s police rushed to the Touhy Mobile Home Park near Des Plaines following the 5:48 a.m. call.
But earlier Thursday her husband testified in his own defense that he only recalls his wife waking him early that morning to argue with him about finding the title to their trailer.
Ramirez, who sat stone-faced and showed no emotion during his testimony, repeatedly insisted he has no memory of attacking her.
“How many times did you have to plunge that knife into your wife’s body before she collapsed,” Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Andre asked Ramirez at one point.
“I don’t remember, I don’t know,” Ramirez answered.
“How long did it take you to beat and stab your wife until she went unconscious?” Andre asked a moment later.
“I do not remember anything,” said Ramirez, who testified he had been taking medications for anxiety and depression at the time of his wife’s slaying.
A day earlier, Greta Ramirez testified she called 911 after hearing her mother yell for help after being confronted by her father.
On Thursday, prosecutors played for jurors the tape of that brief call.
Questioned by a Cook County sheriff’s dispatcher during the roughly 40-second 911 call, Greta Ramirez said her father didn’t have any weapons and hadn’t been drinking.
When dispatcher Cliff Tanega asks the youngster how old she is, the girl hesitated briefly, then answered.
“I’m 9,” she said, before the line went dead.
The girl was found unharmed when police reached her home—and the phone line had been unplugged from the wall.