New details emerge in police investigation that led to the arrest of Ramon Peña-Cornelio

A Woodburn man charged with murder in connection with a stabbing in February remains jailed in Marion County after his formal arraignment last month.

No bail has been set for Ramon Peña-Cornelio, 20, who is accused in the Feb. 6 homicide of 18-year-old Ricardo Hernandez, also of Woodburn. Marion County Deputy District Attorney Amy Queen, the prosecutor in the case, said Peña-Cornelio has been formally arraigned and scheduled for a status conference in June. A trial has not yet been set.

Queen said the court appointed Salem attorneys Walter Todd and Mark Brownlee to serve as his legal representation.

In the midst of one of the biggest snowstorms in recent history, Woodburn police were called to the intersection of Brown and Bradley streets the night of Feb. 6, where Hernandez was found with multiple stab wounds. Hernandez later died at Salem Hospital.

The initial investigation indicated that the crime was gang-related, though friends and family of Hernandez — also known as “Big Rick” — said they had never known him to be involved with gang activity.

According to the probable cause statement filed in the case, Peña-Cornelio was with two friends on Feb. 6. One of the friends, who was interviewed by police, said the trio had drunk two cases of Pacifico beer and smoked marijuana that day.

Around 10 p.m., Peña-Cornelio reportedly left the residence while the other two men remained inside. The friend told police that he heard Peña-Cornelio say, “Come outside! Come outside!” at one of the bedroom windows around 10:15 p.m.

Outside the residence, the friend said he heard someone yell, “I’m going to call the cops!” from the intersection of Brown and Bradley. He said he saw Peña-Cornelio flee Brown Street and run past him without saying anything.

The friend informed police that he had several knives in his possession and that Peña-Cornelio had been staying with him for a couple weeks. He reportedly identified the knife sheath found at the crime scene as belonging to him.

“He stated he last saw the knife belonging to the sheath in his bedroom on his television stand (Feb. 4),” the statement said.

When police asked if Peña-Cornelio had taken the knife from his bedroom, the friend said, “More than likely,” according to the statement.

Police released the name and photo of Peña-Cornelio and requested the public’s help in locating the suspect in the days following Hernandez’s death. He was arrested March 6 in Sacramento, Calif., by Sacramento police and extradited to Oregon April 8.

Peña-Cornelio is also facing a probation violation stemming from a 2012 burglary case.

Murder is a Measure 11 felony crime in the state of Oregon, carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.

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