[Masthead] Fair ~ 50°F  
High: 74°F ~ Low: 53°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jury complete in Zarate murder trial, testimony gets underway

Thursday, February 1, 2001

Testimony begins today in the trial of Rene Zarate, 16. Zarate is charged with the May 1999 stabbing death of Jorge Ramos, 47, of Storm Lake.

A jury was selected yesterday at the Buena Vista County Courthouse in Storm Lake. Opening statements will begin today in the case.

After a one-day delay due to weather, 58 potential jurors reported Wednesday morning. Jury selection finished late yesterday afternoon.

Zarate is charged with first-degree murder in the multiple-stabbing death of Ramos in a Storm Lake trailer park in May, 1999. Ramos, a native of Peru, had lived in Storm Lake for only a short time. He was stabbed over 50 times, with the body and the murder weapon dumped in an adjacent area.

Originally charged with Zarate was Isaac Cruz, 15, of Storm Lake. He entered a plea agreement and will be charged with second-degree burglary in exchange for expected testimony against Zarate.

Zarate is being tried as an adult.