The sister of a Florida man sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a Spanish immigrant in a hate-fueled attack revealed that he & # 39; was raised with violence & # 39; and has seen his own father kill a man for him.
On May 22, 2018, David Harris, now 23, was found guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated battery while proving prejudices about the death of 18-year-old Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos in April 2015.
Prosecutors in Palm Beach County Courthouse said the victim was fatally beaten with an ax outside his home after Harris, his brother Jesse – also accused of murder and pending trial – and fellow suspect Austin Taggart decided to go. hunting & # 39 ;.
Espy Harris claims that her brother David, sentenced to prison life for killing a Spanish immigrant in a hate-agitated attack, was & # 39; raised with violence & # 39; and saw his own father murder a man for him
In the latest episode of the BBC3 documentary series Love and Hate Crime: Trouble in Paradise, his sister Espy Harris claims that her brother grew up around violence.
& # 39; David has a different father than me and Jesse, & # 39; she explained. & # 39; He has always been brought up with violence, it is everything he has ever known.
& # 39; His father killed someone for David when he was young. & # 39;
David Harris was adopted at the age of six, when Espy was a baby – but she insists that her brother is not a murderer.
& # 39; I know who David is and he is not a murderer, & # 39; she said. & # 39; He always helped me the most when it came to talking to me about things, he always had the right words.
On May 22, 2018, David Harris, pictured, found guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated battery while proving prejudices about the death of 18-year-old Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos in April 2015
Prosecutors in Palm Beach County Courthouse said Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos (photo) was mortally beaten with an ax outside his home
& # 39; When I was a baby, he was six years old. We were abandoned and left alone by ourselves, and the only reason we came out of that room and that house was because David was there to protect us.
& # 39; He let us escape from the house and then we were found by the state. & # 39;
After the children were abandoned by their biological parents, Espy claimed that they & # 39; rotten food & # 39; ate and & # 39; terrible & # 39; had to do things to survive until they found help.
& # 39; When we went to our adoptive family, they originally just kept us for the moment, and they gave us back and we went back to the system to find homes, permanent homes, but my mother wanted to keep us all together and they felt so bad for us and she officially adopted us in 2001, & Espy recalled.
David Harris was adopted at the age of six, when Espy was a baby – and she insists that her brother is not a murderer
& # 39; When I grew old enough to realize what was going on, David was always taken and moved and argued with my parents and those who kicked him out. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; He is our protector, he is our only big brother. As a person I am very paranoid for some reason. I don't even know where I got it. I have nightmares about dying in certain incidents. & # 39;
In the documentary, Espy claims that her brother was not guilty of a hate crime, because he grew up in a diverse family.
& # 39; We have never judged anyone by race, & # 39; she said. & # 39; David, Jesse and I are all Guatemalan.
& # 39; Me and Jesse, we both have dark skin, we are always called Guat. We would be called Beaners and Dirty Mexicans. I finally had to leave school because the discrimination was so bad.
Throughout the documentary, Espy – pictured to get her brothers' initials tattooed on her wrist – states that David Harris was not guilty of a hate crime because he himself grew up in a diverse family
& # 39; People always see the outside of him, they see his light skin color. The man who was killed has a dark skin color, but when we look at me and Jesse, we both have dark skin and David is just as much our brother. & # 39;
As she had the initials of both brothers tattooed on her wrist, Espy said: & They continued to call it a hate crime that he … deliberately killed him to rob him, but like, his sister's Guatemalan, why would he do that? & # 39;
Another person who was interviewed as part of the documentary is Heather Burga, a friend of Onesimo's who worked with him in a restaurant.
& # 39; He was always very positive, never a bad attitude, always joking, & # 39; she remembered.
& # 39; The incident happened because a group of kids who had nothing better to do, grown up with apparently no morals, decided to attack Guatemalans. & # 39;
Another person who was interviewed as part of the documentary is Heather Burga, pictured – a friend of Onesimo who worked with him in a restaurant
She admitted that she was not a & # 39; great believer & # 39; is in funerals, but thought she owed it to Onesimo to pay her last respect – but she claimed it was the worst funeral & # 39; was where she has ever been.
& # 39; It's a tragedy, no one should lose his life at the age of 18 for the color of his skin. A young boy with beautiful hair, & she explained.
& # 39; At the funeral they had an open chest. His face was swollen and they shaved his head. It was the worst funeral I have ever been to. & # 39;
Heather explained how shocked she was when she saw Harris at the dock at the court because he looked like a small child & # 39 ;.
& # 39; They dressed him and he looked like he had morals and respect, & # 39; she said.
Harris's appearance was due to his lawyer Franklin Prince, who revealed in the documentary that he chose his client's equipment very carefully to make him look as respectable as possible.
Harris' appearance was due to his lawyer Franklin Prince, pictured, who revealed in the documentary that he chose his client's equipment very carefully to make him look as respectable as possible
& # 39; I think it looks good in a sweater, & # 39; he explained. & # 39; We were acquitted of a first-degree murder case in January 2017 and the young man wore a sweater almost every day. He did not like to wear the sweater, but he was certainly happy with the result. & # 39;
The police in Jupiter, Florida, found Onesimo not responding with a cracked skull early in the morning on April 18, 2015, after the police were called to respond to a fight.
During the Harris trial, prosecutors claimed that he, his brother, and Taggart had started & # 39; Guat-hunting & # 39; – find and rob people of Guatemalan or Latino descent.
When Onesimo & # 39; s brother touched Harris, they claimed a fight broke out in which Taggart struck the victim with a reinforcement.
During the Harris trial (pictured with his lawyer) prosecutors claimed that he, his brother and Taggart & # 39; Guat-hunt & # 39; had set up – finding and robbing people of Guatemalan or Latino descent
During his conviction, in which Espy was crying, Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer of Palm Beach County told Harris: “What happened in this case was absolutely horrific, and there is no other appropriate punishment in this case than life in the prison & # 39;
The Harris and Taggart brothers had started to run away, the prosecutors said, but returned when Onesimo and his friends kept shouting at them.
Harris, prosecutors alleged, then grabbed an ax that had fallen to Onesimo's brother and waved it to his head – which turned out to be the fatal blow.
During his conviction, Palm Beach County judge, Samantha Schosberg Feuer, told Harris: "What happened in this case was absolutely terrible and there is no other appropriate punishment in this case than prison life." 39;
Love and Hate Crime: Trouble in Paradise will be broadcast on BBC One tonight at 10:25 AM.
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