Cold case unit makes arrest in 2008 murder

Jose Ramos, right, is escorted out of the courtroom after his arraignment at Superior Court in Norwich Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, for the murder of Tynell Hardwick of Norwich in 2008.
Jose Ramos, right, is escorted out of the courtroom after his arraignment at Superior Court in Norwich Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, for the murder of Tynell Hardwick of Norwich in 2008. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo

A 29-year-old man who allegedly lay in wait outside a Norwich bar four years ago and fatally shot Tynell "Blue" Hardwick has been arrested by the Southeastern Connecticut Cold Case Unit and charged with murder.

Jose E. Ramos, also known as "Kool-aid," was arrested in Queens, N.Y., earlier this week by the cold case unit, including Detective Sgt. Corey Poore of the Norwich Police Department, according to court documents. Ramos waived extradition on Tuesday and was returned to Connecticut.

He was arraigned Wednesday in Norwich before Superior Court Judge Kevin P. McMahon, who ordered him held in lieu of a $2 million bond and transferred the case to the court where serious crimes are heard.

Ramos, dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt, wore his bushy hair in a ponytail. He said nothing as he stood before the judge with public defender Richard Perry at his side.

Ramos is accused of gunning down Hardwick, 29, as Hardwick exited Rumors Bar & Grill at 88 Boswell Ave. on Oct. 10, 2008. The arrest warrant affidavit detailing the state's case against Ramos will remain sealed at least until Ramos' next court appearance on Oct. 15.

Judge McMahon, who signed the arrest warrant last week, commented briefly on the allegations.

"It's a cold-blooded, lie-in-wait murder," McMahon said.

The judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Ramos and a medical watch at the prison.

Ramos has spent most of the past four years in New York City, according to Bail Commissioner Lois Dupointe. He has a criminal record in Connecticut, having been convicted of possession of narcotics in 2003 and possession of narcotics, violation of probation and failure to appear in court in 2006.

Ramos also had a pending court case in Norwich stemming from an April 2012 incident in which he allegedly fired several blank rounds from a handgun at the intersection of School and Court streets. Stopped by police a short time later, he said he had fired the shots to scare away a man who had driven up in a car and threatened Ramos' brother-in-law with a gun. Ramos posted a $5,000 bond following that arrest and failed to appear for his next court date, according to court records.

Hardwick's family members were not in court and could not be reached for comment.

Hardwick's image was included on a deck of playing cards that the cold case unit distributed to state prison inmates in June with the hope of generating leads in unsolved murder cases. Hardwick's picture and information about the crime was featured on the ace of spades. The state also offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those involved in the murder.

k.florin@theday.com

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