A onetime Cuban boxer who was on that country’s 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams and later coached its national team now sits in the Washington County jail, charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a co-worker at a Newport business Thursday.
Gregorio Maso Ramirez, 58, of St. Paul, admitted to investigators that he stabbed Uriel Navarro Ortiz, 44, of Fridley, according to a criminal complaint. The two men, who had a history of discord between them, feuded when Navarro declined to give Ramirez a ride home from Bailey Nurseries in Newport.
Ramirez was arraigned Friday in Washington County District Court. According to the complaint, officers arrived about 3:40 p.m. at the nursery’s main offices to find Navarro unconscious and lying in a pool of blood. He had been stabbed several times. He was declared dead at the scene, and Ramirez apparently fled.
Police then headed to Ramirez’ apartment while a search warrant was being prepared, finding blood leading up some stairs, the complaint said. A cellphone, two knives and other evidence were collected at the apartment. In the meantime, Ramirez, with the help of relatives, had turned himself in to authorities at St. Paul Police headquarters about 6 p.m.
He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he was treated for a large cut on his right hand, then transported to the Washington County jail in Stillwater. Police, with the help of a dog, found a bloodstained knife about five blocks from Ramirez’ apartment.
Washington County District Judge Susan Miles set bail at $1 million without conditions, and $500,000 with conditions that the defendant, a recent Cuban émigré, surrender his passport.
Ramirez’ boxing résumé includes a silver medal in the 1979 world championships, a bronze in 1981 and a silver in 1982. He was on Cuba’s 1984 and 1988 Olympic boxing teams, but Cuba boycotted the Games in those years. He finished his amateur career with a 228-21 record, finishing his career as Cuba’s national team coach.