News

Monique's Story

The car that rolled through the McDonald's parking lot on the night of April 3, 2005, belonged to Monique Trujillo. Outside the fast-food restaurant stood Trujillo's ex-boyfriend and another young woman, Terra Ramirez. Before Ramirez could finish her orange soda, Trujillo's car was back at McDonald's, with another car following it.

Three young men jumped out of that second car. A barrage of bullets followed, with one bullet hitting Ramirez in the leg.

Just a few months later, Ramirez's car led another car to the home of a girl Ramirez was fighting with. A young man jumped out of that second car and a barrage of bullets followed -- one of which hit two little girls sleeping in a nearby house.

These two shootings, as described in "Girl Crazy," led to another cycle of legal proceedings. Ramirez was sentenced to ten years in prison for her role in the second shooting; the shooter got 180 years.

As for the perpetrators of the shooting that landed Ramirez in the hospital, one guy got two years, another got away, and one is set to be sentenced March 30.

But Monique Trujillo won't be going to trial. "It's likely that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Pam Russell, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County District Attorney.

At the trial of one of the young men who shot Ramirez, Trujillo testified that she'd had no role in the shootings -- and her testimony was credible enough for the jury to believe her. As a result, Russell explained, the evidence against Trujillo wasn't strong enough to assure a conviction if the DA took Trujillo to trial.

Meanwhile, Ramirez is serving out her ten-year sentence. "Where's the justice?" asks Ramirez's mother. "This whole thing has been unfair." -- Luke Turf

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun