Firebaugh online meetup murder: Case moving slowly, but 2 defendants could speed it up

Justice is moving slowly for the family of a 20-year-old Fresno man killed after setting up a meeting online.

Four suspects accused of the murder in Firebaugh in September appeared in court for a second time Wednesday, but won't even enter a plea until almost a month after the shooting.

Alexa Ramos from Firebaugh is accused of arranging the meeting to rob Tyrell Truss.

Isaac Helms is accused of shooting and killing Truss.

Prosecutors charged two other women with murder as well, but they could hold the key to quicker justice.

Brenda Beard is fighting for justice for a son who can no longer fight for himself.

"This is just crazy and to know that he had to fight for his life," said Truss' mother. "It's not good."

The 20-year-old Truss talked to Ramos online and met the Firebaugh native in person in Mendota.

Investigators say she had three friends with her and they planned to rob Truss, but he didn't know it yet.

He offered to drive them to Firebaugh, but on the way a fight broke out and Helms shot and killed Truss.

Helms, Ramos, Precious Green, and Hannah Haywood are all charged with murder.

Legal analyst Ralph Torres says California's felony murder rule could apply to all of the women, depending on the facts, but a recent change to the law affects who can face murder charges, limiting it to "major participants."

"The law's gonna apply differently to the person in the car waiting, to the person that basically brought the victim in," Torres said.

Investigators say they've gotten some confessions, and Torres says prosecutors will usually try to flip the people less involved in planning the crime.

In this case, Haywood and Green are from Iowa, so he says they might be more inclined to take a deal and leave town, which could speed up the slow wheels of justice.

But for now, Brenda Beard and her family are waiting, sending a message on their shirts, and remembering a life cut short before it could fully blossom.

"I'll never get the justice I want out of this process because there is still a possibility those people will get out and start a family, have a life, something they took from me," she said.

The four defendants are now scheduled to enter a plea on October 23.
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