Hearing set in alleged gang killing

LAWRENCEVILLE — A probable cause hearing scheduled next week could shed light on what spurred alleged teen gang members to kill a 58-year-old Lawrenceville man Saturday.

Victor Kenneth Ramirez, 18, and a 14-year-old boy are accused of killing Thomas Branch in his apartment off Langley Drive late Saturday night.

Arrest warrants indicate Ramirez will face a judge Wednesday afternoon in a probable cause hearing. Police balked at saying how Branch was slain, and the warrants give no indication.

Investigators said Ramirez and the boy robbed Branch in his home but didn’t force their way in, as Ramirez lived in the same complex and knew the victim. Both suspects were arrested at Ramirez’s apartment a short time later, police said.

Grove said both teens are members of the “Rollin 60” street gang, a subset of the nationwide Crips gang. The victim had no gang ties, police said.

Investigators expect to press gang participation charges against both teens. For now, Ramirez and the unnamed boy are charged with one count of malice murder.