Gilroy Man Accused of Killing Chihuahua Puppy Faces Life in Prison
May 19, 2011
A Gilroy man accused of killing his wife’s 6-week-old Chihuahua by throwing the animal against a wall could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Bud Wally Ruiz, 53, was arrested Monday by Gilroy police and formally charged Wednesday with two felony counts of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of battery on spouse, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Ruiz, who has a criminal record dating back more than 30 years, is scheduled to appear in court for a plea hearing Tuesday.
In an interview Thursday at the Santa Clara County main jail, where he is being held without bail, Ruiz said he was “wrongfully charged.” And his wife of seven months says it was all an accident.
“He was devastated “… he’s not a monster,” Marcella Ruiz said.
On May 12, police responded to a domestic violence call and arrived at the couple’s home, where they found the puppy dead and the suspect gone. Santa Clara County prosecutors allege Ruiz and his wife were arguing when he threw the dog about 15 feet across a room. The dog was inside a small travel tote at the time.
Marcella Ruiz said her husband showed up at her house on May 12. He was drunk and she wanted him to leave. She called the nonemergency Gilroy police line for help getting him out. But Bud Ruiz packed some clothes and placed Teddy, the 6-week-old Chihuahua he gave her on Mother’s Day, into a dog
As he began to leave, Marcella Ruiz said she told him she wanted the dog to stay.
“He threw it (the carrier) in my direction and the dog hit the wall,” she said, adding that he tripped at the same time.
Bud Ruiz didn’t find out until later that the dog died, she said. Ruiz surrendered to Gilroy police Monday.
During the interview, Bud Ruiz said he’s never hit or harmed his wife.
Marcella Ruiz backed him up on that point. “He never hurt me, he never hit me,” she said.
Marcella Ruiz has a new Chihuahua, Teddy’s sister.
Bud Ruiz said he is bipolar, suffers from depression and has “intermittent explosive anger issues.” He added that he is homeless and doesn’t live with his wife because he is a registered sex offender and can’t live near schools or parks.
In the complaint, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said Ruiz has four separate prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, including two cases from Santa Clara County and two from Fresno County. Ruiz’s convictions in Santa Clara County date to 1978, when he spent seven months in jail. In 1999, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest.
People who have two or more serious or violent felony convictions and are charged with a new felony may be prosecuted under the state’s Three Strikes Law and face a minimum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted.