Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in murder case

A West Valley woman who had been accused of taking part in a violent robbery which left her uncle dead has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Bernadette Ramirez, 48, accepted the plea bargain on Friday, taking the reduced second-degree felony charge. However, the charge still carries a weapon enhancement. She had been originally charged with aggravated robbery, child-kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies, as well as a second-degree felony charge of obstructing justice. In exchange for her plea those charges were all dismissed. She now faces the potential of two to twenty years behind bars.

According to plea documents, Ramirez claims she and "one other person" went to the apartment of her 63-year-old uncle, Steven Louis Valdez, and ended up getting into a confrontation with him. During the confrontation, the other person she was with shot her uncle, resulting in his death.

Ramirez was charged in the case alongside two others — Arturo Frias-Gonzales, 26, and Eddie Salazar, 42. Frias-Gonzales accepted a plea deal in February, admitting to obstructing justice and tampering with a witness. He was sentenced last month to concurrent terms of one to 15 years in prison.

Salazar was acquitted by a jury last month after his attorney argued during the trial that a witnesses' changing account of the shooting was unreliable, and that no physical evidence linked his client to the crime.

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