Judge shares harsh words with killer at sentencing

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI – When Salvador Gonzales Ruiz would drink, he had a violent side – shown in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Linda Sylvia Rodriguez, in her Holland home, a judge said.

“There’s an evil in you that rears its ugly head when you tip the bottle,” Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing said Friday, Nov. 6.

“That’s an evil that needs to be separated from civil society.”

Ruiz, 62, was sentenced 26 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.https://7b170f42edd2e8a66d2a834ed77e105f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

“I just want to say I’m very sorry for everything that happened,” Ruiz said in a hearing aired on YouTube because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“If I could turn back the page of time, I would,” he said. “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done. Please forgive me.”

Rodriguez, 61, was killed April 16, 2019, when Ruiz broke into her home in the 500 block of West 24th Street. He broke in around 2:15 a.m. and began stabbing her. 

A man who was in the home with the victim told police they were sleeping when the sliding-glass door was smashed. The man recognized Ruiz and said he ran to the kitchen to get his cellphone and call police.

Holland police arrested Ruiz about eight hours later coming out of a trailer on the south side of Holland where he had a storage unit.

Police said he had been texting the victim hours before her killing.

A son described his mother as a “sweet soul, loving and forgiving.” Ruiz was a “cancer,” he said.

“When you killed her, you killed a piece of all of us.”

A grandson said he once looked to Ruiz as a trusted father figure, at least when he was sober. Now, he said, he feels “hatred” toward Ruiz and said he would never forgive him.

Defense attorney Philip Sielski said his client has “a great deal of remorse for what happened. He knows that he’s responsible for that. He knows this will have a very serious impact on his life.”

The judge said that Ruiz hurt generations of the victim’s family.

There is a “darkness in you,” Hulsing told Ruiz. “There’s a history of darkness in you. … You know what happens when you drink.”

Categories: LOCAL & STATE

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