2 teens sentenced, third OKs plea deal in gang-related beating

NASHUA – Two of the three teens charged with a gang-related beating of another youth last summer have been sentenced to prison, and the third has agreed to follow with a plea bargain next month, the prosecutor said Thursday.

Daniel Ramirez, 19, of 106 Lock St., pleaded guilty to felony assault charges June 18 and was sentenced Thursday to serve three to six years in the state prison, the maximum under the terms of his plea bargain, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Michele Battaglia said.

Ramirez will also have an additional, consecutive two- to four-year sentence hanging over his head for three years after his release. That sentence will remain suspended so long as Ramirez behaves himself, Battaglia said.

Ramirez’s brother, Efrain Ramirez, 18, of 29 11th St., was scheduled to stand trial next month in Hillsborough County Superior Court, but his lawyer, public defender Ed Cross, recently filed notice that he will plead guilty in exchange for a state prison sentence similar to those received by his co-defendants, Battaglia said. A plea and sentencing hearing in his case is scheduled Oct. 1, she said.

The third defendant, Rodolfo Santos, 18, of 22 Beech St., pleaded guilty to a felony assault and an unrelated witness-tampering charge and was sentenced in July to two to four years in state prison.

The Ramirez brothers and Santos all identified themselves as members of the Folk gang in Nashua, and police claim the incident that led to the assault began with a confrontation with a boy, who though not a gang member, was wearing a red bandanna.

Members of the Folk gang reportedly like to dress in blue.

The victims, two teenage boys, said they were confronted by a group of knife-wielding youths on the corner of Main and Prospect streets early on the morning of June 3, 2007. The youths took the red bandanna and a bicycle, and the boys later went looking for the bicycle after rounding up some friends, police reported.

The two groups clashed when they found each other again, and Brad Barber, 19, of Nashua, suffered severe head injuries after he was punched, knocked to the ground, kicked and stomped and beaten with a bat, police reported.

Police had identified the three youths as suspects early in their investigation, while speaking with witnesses, and they found Daniel Ramirez in a car parked near Santos’ home soon after the attack, police said.

Police found Santos and Efrain Ramirez the following afternoon, hiding in a crawl space under the porch of Santos’ home. Questioned by detectives, Daniel Ramirez admitted to hitting Barber with a baseball bat and then kicking him in the stomach, police said, and Santos and Efrain Ramirez admitted to kicking Barber in the face once he was down.