The Court of Common Pleas last week agreed with the district attorney’s office to dismiss charges against Eddie Ramirez, convicted for a brutal 1995 robbery-murder in a Northwood Laundromat. Ramirez has been released from prison.
Last month, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced he believed Ramirez’s constitutional rights were violated at his trial, and Common Pleas Court vacated his conviction.
Ramirez, now 47, and co-defendant William Weihe were convicted by a jury for the Feb. 20, 1995 killing of Joyce Dennis – who was found viciously beaten to death late at night with a steel pipe, after the Laundromat had been robbed of about $1,100. The 40-year-old Dennis worked as an attendant at Fabric Care Center, at 5201 Oxford Ave.
In 1998, Ramirez was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment on the strength of statements from friends implicating him, including testimony from Weihe. Weihe, the lookout, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and spent five years in prison. Many of the friends’ statements were recanted.
According to the DA’s office, DNA testing was recently performed on a number of items related to the investigation: underneath the victim’s fingernails, the murder weapon and a fleece vest used to wipe down the murder weapon. Ramirez was excluded as a contributor to the male DNA found on all three of the items, the DA’s office said.
The real killer has not been identified. ••