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Police: Don't jump to conclusions

A Livermore police detective investigating the death of Mercury News journalist Rich Ramirez says the case hasn’t been confirmed as a suicide because the evidence so far is inconclusive. On Friday, the Merc posted a story saying Ramirez, who died Wednesday in the back yard of his home in Livermore from a knife wound to the mid-section, had been worried about layoffs at the MediaNews Group-owned paper and upset over an undisclosed incident at a convention of Hispanic journalists he had organized.

(Photo: Ramirez, left, holds up the stack of awards the Mercury News won during at this month’s Peninsula Press Club awards dinner. Photo by Paul Sakuma, AP)

“[A]t face value, it does have the appearance of a suicide, but it could be at the hands of another,” Detective Jason Boberg told E&P. “There is a definite possibility of suicide, but it is premature to actually call it that. The injuries, while they could be at his own hand, could have been at the hands of another.”

Boberg also said: “At this point, that is one of the biggest things under investigation. If it is a suicide, what would be the motive?”

Friday’s Merc story did not say what upset Ramirez at last week’s National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in San Jose. One of the convention’s speakers, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, made headlines when he urged immigrants to turn off Spanish-language TV in order to learn English faster.

The association posted the following statement on its Web site:

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