TAMPA, Fla. (AP/WWSB) — A Bradenton man who came to the U.S. from Mexico illegally as a teen is facing up to 10 years in prison for having a gun that he said he used to kill someone in self-defense.
Court records show that 34-year-old Juan Carlos Ramirez-Arcos pleaded guilty Wednesday in Tampa federal court to possessing a firearm or ammunition as an illegal alien. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, where he faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison.
Authorities say Ramirez-Arcos fatally shot Jose Luis Mendoza-Aguilar during a confrontation in Bradenton in October 2015. Jose Luis Mendoza-Aguilar was known in the neighborhood as the “ice cream man” because he sold ice cream and snacks in the community. He was shot three times and died five hours later.
Ramirez-Arcos was tried for murder in state court in 2017, but jurors agreed that he acted in self-defense. Authorities say U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Ramirez-Arcos, who had been living illegally in the U.S. since 2001 when he was a teenager, several weeks after his acquittal.
Ramirez-Arcos’s defense attorney, Richard Reinhart, told the Bradenton Herald that the prosecution of a man defending himself was pathetic.