Ramos waives hearing, pleads not guilty in Norwich murder

Jose E. “Kool-Aid” Ramos, charged in October with fatally shooting Tynel “Blue” Hardwick outside a Norwich bar four years ago, waived his right to a probable cause hearing Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Ramos, initially represented by public defender Bruce A. Sturman, was appointed a new attorney, Bruce B. McIntyre, after Sturman discovered he had previously represented a witness in the case.

During Ramos’ appearance Wednesday morning in New London Superior Court, McIntyre said Ramos has decided to waive his right to the probable cause hearing. Had he opted for such a hearing, the state would have called witnesses in an effort to convince Judge Susan B. Handy there is enough evidence to prosecute Ramos for murder. Now that he has waived the hearing, the attorneys will begin discussing whether the case can be resolved short of trial.

Cold case detectives allege that Ramos, angry after an encounter with Hardwick inside Rumors Bar & Grill on Oct. 10, 2008, retrieved a gun and waited across the street for Hardwick to exit the bar. Ramos allegedly shot Hardwick from a distance of about 143 feet, killing him with one shot to the back of the head. Norwich police identified Ramos as a possible suspect, but detectives were unable to make their case until investigators interviewed cooperating witnesses earlier this year.

He is being held in lieu of a $2 million bond at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. He is due back in court on Jan. 11.

— Karen Florin

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