Outbursts in court as man is sentenced for murder, soliciting murder in Salem
There were some tense moments amid two outbursts in a Marion County courtroom as a judge sentenced a man for murder on Tuesday.
The victim's family gave emotional testimony as they came face to face with the killer, 27-year-old Darnell Harris, who spoke as well.
He pleaded guilty to murder, tampering with a witness and soliciting murder.
The judge called his actions horrific, violent and callous.
As a prosecutor laid out details of his brother's brutal slaying, Gabriel Ramon stared intensely at Harris until he finally snapped.
"What?! What!?" Ramon shouted across the courtroom at Harris before yelling profanities and storming out.
Harris pleaded guilty last month to murdering 32-year-old Andrew Ramon on Nov. 28, 2016.
Prosecutors said early that morning the two men got into an argument at a bar in Salem and as Andrew drove away, Harris and a passenger chased him.
Andrew crashed his SUV into a tree on Liberty Street Southeast, where prosecutors said Harris stabbed him to death.
They said Harris's passenger did not participate.
Prosecutors played a recording of a phone call in which they said Harris tried to get his passenger not to talk to officers.
"Just don't say nothing," Harris says in the recording. "Don't ever say nothing, dog. Just plead the Fifth."
Later while behind bars, prosecutors said Harris ordered the passenger's murder.
Before sentencing, the judge heard testimony from Andrew Ramon's family members including his mother, Sylvia Ramon.
"I miss him every single day," she said, sobbing. "He would always have his loud music. Every time I hear the loud music, I always think of him -- he's coming home! And he doesn't come home anymore!"
Andrew's daughter, Danika Ramon, wants people to remember that her father served the community of Gervais as a basketball and middle school wrestling coach and as her best friend.
"He would work all night but he would still be awake at 7 a.m. to take me and my brothers to school," Danika said regarding Andrew, who worked as a custodian for Chemeketa Community College.
Mel Harris, Darnell Harris's father, said his son excelled in sports and academics in high school before joining the Marine Corps.
"I'm sorry for your loss. I don't know why it happened," Mel told the Ramon family. "He wasn't a bad guy. He's not a bad guy. It's just … things happened."
Darnell Harris apologized repeatedly and promised he could be rehabilitated.
"Due to my poor actions, I've hurt a lot of people. I've hurt the victim. I've hurt his family, even my own family," Darnell said. "Nobody asked for this."
The judge sentenced Darnell to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 34 years.