CA Supreme Court to Review Tempongko DV Homicide Case Appellate Decision

June 16, 2011

CONTACT: Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167
ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014

District Attorney George Gascón & Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates Applaud Court for Taking Up Review

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today his strong support for the California Supreme Court’s granting of a review of the appellate decision overturning the second-degree murder conviction of Tari Ramirez aka Tare Beltran for the 2000 domestic violence stabbing of Claire Joyce Tempongko. The appellate court’s reversal of the 2008 conviction was based on grounds of alleged jury instructional error.

“I applaud the Supreme Court for its decision to review the lower court’s findings,” said District Attorney Gascón. “The Tempongko family has suffered an unimaginable loss which they live with every single day. The Court’s decision is a significant advancement in bringing the Tempongko family the closure they so desperately deserve. My Office is committed to working tirelessly with Attorney General Harris’ Office and the advocacy community to support the Tempongko family through this process and to ensure that the man who was charged, convicted and sentenced for their loved one’s killing remains accountable for his unthinkable crimes.”

Ramirez was convicted by a jury in 2008 for stabbing 28-year-old Claire Joyce Tempongko to death in front of her two children who were ages 10 and five at the time of the killing in 2000. The murder took place in Ms. Tempongko’s home in San Francisco’s Richmond District and was prosecuted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office following Ramirez’s 2006 extradition from Mexico where he fled, attempting to escape prosecution for the brutal slaying.

Ramirez had a lengthy history of domestic violence against Ms. Tempongko. The murder case shined a light on much-needed improvements in San Francisco’s policies and protocols for handling domestic violence and resulted in a Citywide response that led to the enactment of sweeping reforms to shore up the safety of domestic violence survivors by improving mechanisms for reporting and response.

“The CA Supreme Court's decision is one more step toward justice and helping to ease the Tempongko family's suffering,” said Executive Director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium Beverly Upton. “We thank the District Attorney and the Attorney General's offices for their successful request to the CA Supreme Court.”

The California Supreme Court will have up to two years to deliver its findings.