A man was arrested, charged and convicted of murder after killing an innocent man because he thought that he yelled racial slurs at him, prosecutors in California said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that the 34-year-old man was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison after he was convicted of killing the innocent man with a screwdriver.
Arturo Ruiz Torres of Long Beach was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder. Additionally, the jury found true the special allegation that a screwdriver was used as a deadly weapon.
Deputy District Attorney Lindsay Kurtis, who prosecuted the case, said that Torres was harassed by an unknown man who yelled racial slurs at him.
Torres went after the unknown man and came across Anthony Ramirez, who was riding his bicycle near the defendant, the prosecutor said.
According to trial testimony, Torres wrongfully believed that Ramirez was the person who was yelling at him. As a result, Torres stabbed Ramirez with a screwdriver, the prosecutor said.
Following the stabbing, Torres fled the area while Ramirez died at the scene, the prosecutor added. Six days after the incident, Torres was apprehended by police and charged in connection with the crime.