Teresa Ramirez hasn’t yet mustered up the muscle to tell her 21-year-old daughter Terra that any hope of getting out of prison early is as gone as her freedom.
It’s been two years since Terra was wounded in a drive-by shooting and then found herself on the other side of the gun when she played a role in another gangland shooting four months later that left two little girls traumatized and wounded by a stray bullet fired by Terra’s friend Andy Rubio. Terra took a plea deal and is serving a ten-year sentence: she’s eligible for parole in five years. Rubio, however, is doing 180 years.
“It doesn’t make any sense when murderers are getting out for less time,” Teresa Ramirez says. “I just feel like the judicial system isn’t being real fair. And I think that the reason all three of them got such a harsh penalty is because it was so publicized.”
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Last week Terra’s second attempt at a sentence reconsideration was denied. Since she plead guilty to assault before receiving her sentence, appealing isn’t an option.
“There’s nothing more I can do at this point,” Teresa Ramirez said. “I haven’t had the heart to tell her yet, she’s been real depressed the past few days so I don’t know if she can sense it or what, I’ve talked to her everyday but I just can’t tell her.”
Teresa says that the prison’s library can’t quench her daughter’s intellectual thirst. For the time being, Terra’s not eligible to enroll in the system’s education classes either, which are reserved for inmates closer to their potential release dates. Whereas she once saw her daughter as soft, Teresa Ramirez now sees Terra as hard, “street hard,” essential to survival in the joint.
But once Terra gets the news that all hope is gone until her parole hearing, the hard time that she’s serving is going to get even harder. --Luke Turf