A new online petition urges that accused murderer Ganesh Ramsaran be released from Chenango County Jail and asserts he is the victim of a “racially motivated indictment.”
“There is no evidence against him and no reason why he should be in custody,” states the petition posted on a web site promoting social activism — www.change.org.
Ramsaran, 38, of New Berlin is charged with second-degree murder in the Dec. 11 death of his wife, Jennifer.
In an interview before he was arrested in May, Ganesh Ramsaran, a father of three school-age children, admitted he had been having an affair with his running partner, a woman who was also a close friend of his wife. He has insisted he last saw his wife on the morning of Dec. 11 when, he maintains, she left the home in the family van to go Christmas shopping by herself at a mall near Syracuse.
For the past six months, he has been held at the Chenango jail for lack of $500,000 cash bail or $1 million in property.
The web posting, created by an individual who identified himself as John Oldham and who provided no contact information, also asserts that Ramsaran, who was born in the Netherlands and is an Indian American, has been the target of racial slurs by police officers.
However, his lawyer, F. Stanton Ackerman and Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride both told The Daily Star that they have heard of no such reports.
“That’s news to me,” said Ackerman, a veteran criminal defense lawyer from Albany.
McBride vigorously denied the claims made in the petition. “That’s absolutely not true,” he said of the assertions that Ramsaran has been taunted with racial slurs by police officers. He shrugged off the significance of the online petition, saying, “I’m sure he’s got some friends.”
Meanwhile, Ramsaran’s six-bedroom home in New Berlin has been listed for sale, with the asking price of $240,000. That move was sharply criticized by members of a group called Justice for Jennifer, which maintains a Facebook page.
With Ramsaran accused of killing the mother of his children, McBride also questioned the appropriateness of selling the house at a time when the defendant is trying to raise cash in order to effect his release on bail.
“That’s the kids’ house,” the prosecutor said.
The petition also maintains that witnesses saw Jennifer Ramsaran “in a car being held against her will by two men,” and asserted authorities are refusing to investigate that report.
Ackerman said the only such report came to him via what he called an untraceable, anonymous phone call. He said he didn’t pass it along to police because his client had already been indicted and he didn’t think investigators would bother to check into it.
Meanwhile, members of Justice for Jennifer are planning to hold a balloon release Dec. 11. The event will be held at the East Main Street Park in Norwich, across from the county courthouse where Ganesh Ramsaran could go on trial as early as next spring.
Ackerman said he has received an inventory of some of the evidence that the district attorney’s office has in the case, including a report indicating that a small quantity of Jennifer Ramsaran’s blood was found in a downstairs area of the house. Law enforcement officials have declined to say how they believe she was killed.