SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 25, 2013

Woman found guilty in assault on disabled neighbor

BEVERLY — A former Beverly woman was found guilty yesterday in what a prosecutor called the “brutal” beating of a disabled woman who was left disfigured outside a Rantoul Street apartment building where both lived last May.

Saranyeliz Ramirez, 22, who moved to Lawrence while awaiting trial, will be sentenced next month on the charge of assault and battery, after Salem District Court Judge Michael Uhlarik asked for a pre-sentencing investigation and evaluation of Ramirez’s mental health.

It took jurors about 15 minutes to conclude that Ramirez had beaten her 41-year-old disabled neighbor, after the neighbor accused her of stealing medication while helping her pack some belongings.

The neighbor testified that she required reconstructive surgery on her face, underneath her eye, where the punches and kicks from Ramirez shattered bones in her face. She has also suffered permanent vision damage in that eye, she said.

Jurors heard slightly conflicting accounts from two witnesses, one a friend of the victim, and the other a friend of the defendant.

Both, however, said the fight started when Ramirez tried to “high-five” the victim, who snubbed her, then said she wanted nothing to do with Ramirez, accusing her of stealing medications she takes.

The victim suffers from partial paralysis on one side, a result of two strokes. As she was being sworn in, she was unable to raise her right hand. She walks with a limp and wears a back brace because of recent surgery to her spine.

“I didn’t high-five her,” said the woman. “She said what the (expletive), you can’t say ‘hi’? I said, ‘You and I both know you stole medication from my house.’ She started calling me names in Spanish.”

Then, Ramirez ripped the glasses off her head, the woman testified. When the woman said she would call police, Ramirez pushed her to the ground outside The Millery apartments and began punching and kicking her.

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