Love triangle at heart of fatal Loomis baseball-bat attack

Defendant sentenced to 21 years for voluntary manslaughter
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A love triangle was at the heart of fatal baseball-bat bludgeoning homicide case in Loomis, prosecutors contended Wednesday before Kenneth Lewis Massey Jr. was sentenced to a 21-year prison term. Massey, 24, of South Sacramento, was initially charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 12, 2009, bludgeoning death of 24-year-old Rudy Abel Ramos. After nearly two years in Placer County Jail, Massey pleaded no contest in August to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter and agreed to a stipulated prison sentence of 21 years. The sentence included 11 years for voluntary manslaughter, the maximum that could be imposed. Deputy District Attorney Jeff Wood said in a statement after sentencing that despite nearly 11,000 pages of information gathered and 1½ years of investigation, the case remained circumstantial and hinged on the testimony of Massey’s co-defendant Anthony Cordero, 23, of South Sacramento. While the prosecution was able to establish a motive in the crime and place Massey and Cordero at the scene near the time of the murder, it was “problematic” to determine the sequence of events immediately before Ramos was killed, Wood said. The plea agreement reflects the case’s difficulty while putting Massey behind bars for a lengthy prison sentence and providing justice for Ramos and his family, Wood said. Ramos was killed at his Berg Lane home in Loomis after coming home in the morning from a late shift at Sierra Pine Company. A sentencing brief prepared by the District Attorney’s Office stated an autopsy revealed he died from 11 blows to the back of the head. Cordero told investigators he had gone with Massey to the house after the two had bought baseball bats because he thought Massey was going to pay back a debt. The bats were for protection, Cordero said he had believed. Investigators, however, pieced together phone records and text messages between Massey and Ramos’ wife, who the defendant was having a relationship with. The messages indicated that Massey planned an attack and brutally murdered Ramos with an aluminum baseball bat because of his romantic involvement with the victim’s wife, the sentencing statement reads. Ramos and his wife had argued the morning before the attack, after Ramos had found a letter in which she professed her love for Massey, the brief states. After the argument, his wife left the residence with their two children to stay with her mother in Sacramento, the District Attorney’s brief said. She wouldn’t return and Ramos’ body was found Sept. 14, 2009, by one of his friends. In one text message, Massey and Ramos’ wife discussed a “plan.” “I will do anything to save our relationship,” Massey said. Ramos’ wife said that the “plan” was not an option for her. “I don’t and wouldn’t wish death upon anyone,” the woman texted. “Especially the father of my babies.” After numerous interviews, Ramos’ wife told investigators that Massey planned to kill Ramos, the brief states. “However further evidence of this was unable to be discovered,” the brief stated. At the sentencing hearing, Ramos’ sister, Alicia Cervantes said her brother was a happy person who didn’t deserve to die. “God will make him (Massey) pay for what he did to Rudy,” she said. “He deserves to go to prison for life because after all he gave my brother a life sentence.”