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Willmar man sentenced for using false name, car crash assault that injured two pregnant women

WILLMAR -- Amner Neftali Ramos Zui, 26, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to five years of probation and 141 days in jail, and ordered to cooperate with agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after being convicted of two felony charges of false impersonation.

Ramos Zui, also known as Luis Alfredo Perez Lopez, was also sentenced to two years probation and 365 days in jail on a gross misdemeanor charge of criminal vehicular homicide or operation. He was given credit for 141 days already served, with the remaining 224 days stayed. The charge stemmed from a Dec. 20 car crash along Business 71 in Willmar that injured two pregnant women

As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, a second-degree assault charge and four charges of criminal vehicular homicide or operation and driving while impaired filed after the December crash were dismissed. An additional felony charge for aggravated forgery, plus charges for giving a court official a false name, were also dismissed.

Ramos Zui was also ordered to pay $100 in fines, refrain from alcohol consumption, take his prescribed medications, possess no weapons and submit to a chemical use assessment.

The impersonation and forgery charges were filed after Ramos Zui was arrested following the Dec. 20 crash.

He provided the Perez Lopez name to officers, signed jail forms and appeared in court twice under the false name. The investigation revealed that U.S. Department of State records showed the passport application in that name did not match. Information from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed Ramos Zui's real name, which was used to locate employment documents signed at Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar.

An officer contacted the real Perez Lopez, who lives in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He said he had no idea how the Ramos Zui got his identification and that he'd never heard of him.

The assault charge was filed after police were called to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Business 71 and Civic Center Drive.

They arrived to find two smashed vehicles, one with rear-end damage, the other with front-end damage. Through an interpreter, the driver of the first vehicle said the car's occupants had left a local club and were northbound on Highway 71 when the vehicle was struck from behind and pushed across the median into a light pole.

Two pregnant women riding in the backseat were transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Another officer responding to the scene saw Ramos Zui walking away on the east side of the highway and stopped him to ask if he'd been involved in the crash.

Ramos Zui used the Perez Lopez alias and exhibited signs of alcohol consumption. He admitted driving the second car involved in the crash and was arrested. A test revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.19.

He was interviewed through an interpreter and said he'd been drinking and that his girlfriend had left the bar with another man, which upset him. He claimed he was looking for the vehicle she left in when his vehicle ran into the vehicle in front of him. He said he didn't intend to strike the other vehicle.

The women were interviewed at the hospital. One woman, pregnant with Ramos Zui's child, reported she had broken off a relationship with him and that she had gotten a ride from the club with someone else because he was too drunk to drive. She said he had threatened her life a week earlier.

The other pregnant woman said Ramos Zui had gotten out of his vehicle after the crash, hollered something at them and walked away.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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