A Baton Rouge man who police say fatally shot someone suspected of raping a relative of the accused shooter was indicted Thursday on a manslaughter charge in the March 22 slaying on Quida Mae Drive.
Yovanni Anibal Ramos-Salazar, 31, was charged by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury in the death of Joel Guevara, 28, outside the north Baton Rouge apartment complex where both men lived.
Manslaughter is punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Police had booked Ramos-Salazar on a second-degree murder count.
“While I cannot comment on grand jury deliberations, I do agree that based on the evidence that was developed initially by the police that their arrest for 2nd degree murder was justified,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday in an email.
“Subsequent police and district attorney’s investigation obviously provided information to the grand jury for them to find that there was sufficient provocation to justify the grand jury’s decision to indict for manslaughter and not 2nd degree murder,” he said.
The week before Guevara was killed, a warrant was issued for his arrest in the January hotel room rape of a woman he knew well. Guevara’s family insisted the rape allegation was not true. The warrant was recalled after the fatal shooting.
Guevara was acquitted several years ago on attempted rape and second-degree kidnapping charges that were lodged against him after a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her inside his car at the BREC park off Prescott Road. Guevara told sheriff’s deputies the woman was a prostitute who propositioned him.
In the incident that triggered his slaying, a woman told police she was cleaning a hotel room on Jan. 11 when Guevara showed up and said he wanted to speak with her. Guevara told her “he was in love with her and that he was not going to let her go,” a police report states.
Guevara forced himself on the woman when she told him she was not interested in a romantic relationship, the report says. The woman told police she resisted but could not prevent the rape.
In the days and weeks after the incident, Guevara sent her text messages indicating he was spying on her and suggesting that if she told anyone about what occurred, “many people in El Salvador will cry,” according to police.
The woman also was from El Salvador.
A DNA analysis found Guevara could not be excluded as the donor of the DNA collected from the rape victim, the police report says.
Ramos-Salazar was arrested March 26 and remains in jail.
His case has been assigned to state District Judge Richard Anderson.