Nearly a year after a Christmas Day attack on his ex-girlfriend, Edgardo Mercado-Ramos was sentenced to 15 years in prison for three convictions in connection with the assault.
Mercado-Ramos was convicted two months ago of first-degree burglary, criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree criminal contempt after a jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges.
He had been arrested Dec. 25 when police responded to a call for help at the woman’s Gold Street home. Mercado-Ramos had broken into the house through a window, carrying a 30-inch machete and pepper-spray. He reportedly beat the woman, used the spray on her and smashed her belongings, including her computer and Christmas gifts she had bought for her children. She managed to send a text message to a friend, who called police.
Mercado-Ramos fled but was captured a short distance away, still carrying the pepper spray.
At the time, he had been out of jail for less than two months after serving a six-month sentence for assaulting the same victim. He also was violating an order of protection to stay away from the victim when he broke into her home.
At the sentencing, prosecutor Timothy J. Garvin told the judge that the defendant “came into the victim’s house unwanted, unwelcome and unlawfully” and noted that Mercado-Ramos, 29, of Buffalo, has shown a complete lack of remorse since his arrest.
Defense attorney Michael Deal, acknowledging that “something bad happened,” pointed out that although the victim had bruises and contusions from the incident, she suffered no broken bones and wasn’t bleeding when police arrived.
He also said that his client’s drug abuse played into the events and that others who know Mercado-Ramos consider him to be helpful, smart and a good father.
Haendiges was direct in her response.
“A good father does not climb through a window with a machete and terrorize someone, and spray her with pepper spray so she can’t breathe – for hours,” the judge said.
She also pointed out that Mercado-Ramos had had multiple brushes with the law in the past six years “and every single one resulted in bench warrants and contempt charges.”
She sentenced him to 15 years on the burglary charges, up to seven years for the weapons possession and up to four years on the contempt charge. She also signed orders of protection for the victim and for one of the witnesses, in effect through 2038.