A Santa Maria man accused of stabbing his parents in 2017 is facing a new felony charge of resisting a peace officer stemming from an Aug. 21 fight in Santa Barbara County Jail, although his attorney is still pushing for entry into a mental health diversion program.
Ramirez's attorney David Bixby said he doesn't have many details of the jail incident but believes his client may end up settling on a lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon and credit for time served.
"If he’s innocent of any wrongdoing, he should still be in line for his diversion," Bixby said.
Prior to allegedly stabbing his parents, Ramirez was an avid boxer and good student but began experiencing head pain in 2014, according to his parents Ricardo and Sylvia.
Then Ramirez began stabbing himself during his psychotic break in 2017, according to Bixby. Ramirez' parents were stabbed in the process of trying to intervene, Bixby said, adding that his client’s mother almost died.
Since then, Bixby has pushed to get his client into a mental health diversion program.
Former governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1810 last year, creating an 18-month diversion program for offenders suffering from mental illness. Charges are dropped provided offenders don’t commit any more crimes during that period.
Bixby claimed the prosecution has been opposed to the diversion program due the seriousness of the crime, despite the district attorney’s own expert witness testifying that Ramirez exhibited signs of schizophrenia, which made him eligible for the diversion program.
Ramirez was found competent to stand trial in early 2018 following several mental health evaluations and has remained in jail since then. He receives psychotropic medication injections every 30 days.
When asked if chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) -- a condition that has been known to affect the brains of some athletes who take repeated blows to the head, such as boxers or football players -- was considered in Ramirez’s case, Jenkins said tests showed no evidence of the disease.
Ramirez reappears in court at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10 for a preliminary hearing setting in front of Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge John McGregor.