Posted at: 02/25/2014 10:13 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Ronald Santiago lived life as an accused killer for eight years. Police said he shot Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher in their West side Albuquerque home. But Tuesday, a jury found him not guilty.
“It's been a long eight years,” Santiago said. “We just want to thank the jury for their time and consideration in listening to this case- it's been very difficult for everyone.”
Santiago embraced friends and family, moved to tears by the verdict read Tuesday. Jurors found him not guilty on all four counts, a victory for his defense team, who’ve worked the case for seven years.
“What this trial shows is the acceptance of dishonesty within the police department is extraordinary. The culture of lying is extraordinary. And the new chief of police needs to take a hard look at it,” Defense Attorney Joseph Riggs said.
But Santiago’s celebration will be a quiet one.
“What I'm gonna do now is I lost my wife during this process and I have her ashes with me at home. I need to tell her...need to share that with her because she believed in me. She believed in everything and that's what I need to do. Everything else after that I'll see what happens,” Santiago said.
For him, Tuesday meant the end of almost a decade of suspicion.
“It felt so right. All we've wanted the entire time is just the truth,” Santiago said.
But for those who loved Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher, it meant a case that isn’t closed and more questions that need to be answered.