A Pizza Hut delivery driver will stand trial for murder in California. He is accused of killing a coworker for being gay.
Miguel Angel Bautista Ramirez is accused of shooting 20-year-old Juan Ceballos with a shotgun in 2014. The trial was delayed by questions of Ramirez’s mental competency. The judge certified that Ramirez is fit to stand trial.
If convicted, Ramirez faces the possibility of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole because the crime is being prosecuted as a hate crime.
At preliminary hearings, witnesses testified that Ramirez and Ceballos already had a violent confrontation involving a pocket knife at work. One witness said that Ramirez referred to Ceballos with homophobic slurs.
“Anyone who talked to Juan knew that he was (gay),” his supervisor said.
Surveillance video on the night of the murder from a gas station shows Ceballos being followed by a truck that looked like the truck Ramirez owned at the time. Ceballos drove home, followed by the truck. Ceballos’s 17-year-old brother saw a man exit the truck and shoot Ceballos with a shotgun.