A former Lee County deputy charged with killing his son pleaded no contest to manslaughter Tuesday.
Sergio Perez, 60, claimed he acted in self-defense during a fight with his son, Ramon Perez, at a Cape Coral home in August of 2019, but a judge in June denied Perez the use of the “stand your ground” defense.
Sergio will spend 48 months in prison and two years on probation after accepting responsibility for Ramon’s death.
His formal sentencing will be in late September.
Everyone in Ramon’s mother’s family sat front row in court, but not a single person from his father’s family stood behind Sergio.
The family said they’re disappointed he’ll only spend four years in prison but they’re grateful he’s at least being held responsible.
“Who gave you the right to take the life of my son?”
At times, Ramon’s family expressed anger.
“His father would like to paint a picture that he was lazy and would drink all the time, but he helped everyone,” Ramon’s mother said.
Sometimes, they expressed grief.
“For as long as I live, he will always be my grandson and will always be in my heart,” said Ramon’s grandfather, Manuel Peña.
Sergio put his son in a chokehold until Ramon could no longer breathe, and almost two years to the day he did so, he changed his plea of not guilty and entered one of no contest.
Ramon’s family told Sergio in court Tuesday how losing “Ramoncito” impacted them.
“My heart splits in two, one side filled with memories, the other side died with you,” Ramon’s mom told him.
The family said while they can’t bring their loved one back, they’re glad Sergio will be behind bars.
“There’s two kinds of law: there’s God’s law and man’s law. Sometimes man’s law fails but God’s law never fails,” Peña said.
“Me and my family can now concentrate on a little healing, of course always keeping my son and their grandson alive in our hearts,” Ramon’s mom said.