Ramos gets life sentence for 2017 prison riot murder

Feb. 2, 2024, 2:41 p.m. ·

Eric Ramos following sentencing for murder
Eric Ramos, left, leaves court after being sentenced to life in prison. (Photo: Lori Pilger, Lincoln Journal Star)

Eric Ramos will spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering fellow inmate Michael Galindo.

The Johnson County District Court judge added dozens of additional years to the sentence for the use of a weapon, tampering with evidence, and being identified as a habitual criminal.

The murder occurred during the 2017 riot at the prison in Tecumseh. The Nebraska Attorney General may still file charges against other inmates seen taking part in the killing.

In December, a jury in Saline County convicted Ramos after a month-long trial.

Eric Ramos sits with defense attorney in District Court.
With an evidence photo displayed on a monitor, Eric Ramos, center, listens to testimony with his defense attorney. (Phone: Bill Kelly/Nebraska Public Media)

Before issuing his sentence, First District Court Judge Rick Schreiner told Eric Ramos he agreed with the jury that found him guilty of murder in December. Grainy video from prison security cameras provided sufficient evidence to identify Ramos as one of at least three inmates who beat and stabbed Galindo and participated in setting a cell on fire where the 31-year-old man was left to die.

"The evidence was clear you were involved in the crime," Schreiner said.

According to Assistant Attorney General Corey O'Brien, Ramos is the only person charged so far because he appeared to be the one identifiable prisoner most involved in what the prosecutor described as "the mob's actions."

During the hearing, O'Brien left open the potential for others to still face charges in the six-year-old homicide.

As for the victim, O'Brien told the court Michael Galindo may have been serving time in prison, but he did not deserve to die in such a horrific manner.

After the hearing, Galindo's sister, Jennifer, described her brother's murder as "a huge loss."

She summarized the contents of the family's letter to the judge, describing the man they knew as a "good-hearted person" and "a good dad."

"We said in the letter how this is not just an impact on a sister and a mother," Galindo told reporters. "It impacted his kids that no longer have a father. Ramos still gets to see his kid, right? He gets to talk to him. Unfortunately, my nephew and my nieces don't get that."

In an email sent after the hearing, Ramos' sister Melissa Nevarez stood by her brother and his innocence, adding, "We will keep fighting for what's right and hopefully declare his innocence."

Defense attorney Tim Noerrlinger filed a motion for a new trial, listing several reasons the guilty verdict should be reconsidered. Judge Schreiner denied the request.