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07-12-08, 01:55 PM #1
Dallas Cop-Killer Sentenced to Death
Ruiz Sentenced To Death In Officer Slaying Case
POSTED: 7:39 pm CDT July 11, 2008
UPDATED: 12:03 pm CDT July 12, 2008
DALLAS -- A jury sentenced Wesley Ruiz on Friday night to be put to death for the shooting and killing of a Dallas police officer last year.
Jurors heard closing arguments in the sentencing phase of the trial and deliberated for about 10 hours before reaching a decision shortly before 10 p.m. The jury had to decide between a sentence of life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Last month, Ruiz was convicted of capital murder in the fatal shooting of Senior Cpl. Mark Nix in March 2007 during a chase.
Ruiz stood and showed no reaction as the death sentence was announced.
Both families were emotional when the jury read their decision. Ruiz's family members wept openly in the courtroom.
Nix's mother read a statement from the witness stand after the decision was announced.
"Because of your actions, I was robbed of my grandchildren," she said. "My son was robbed of having any children of his own. We did not have the chance to plead for his life. My family will never be the same."
Nix's sister spoke to reporters after the sentencing and thanked the jury.
"I'm grateful the justice system has found the verdict of guilty. I am also grateful that the jury has given the punishment they have," she said. "We live every day with the memory of Mark Nix and what a wonderful person he was."
Ruiz's family left the courtroom without making any statements.
During the sentencing phase this week, relatives of the convicted man pleaded with jurors to spare his life. They said he was shaped by a difficult upbringing and deserved mercy.
Defense attorneys said Ruiz should not be sentenced to death for shooting and killing Nix because his actions on that day were those of a man who feared for his life. Ruiz had testified he shot Nix in self defense.
Prosecutors disagreed and pressed for the death penalty.
"If you take the life of a police officer, you forfeit yours," prosecutor Kevin Brooks said. Related Articles: Find out more about Capital Punishment, Criminal Sentencing and Punishment, Criminal Trials and Trials.
- July 8, 2008: Sentencing Phase For Convicted Officer Killer Resumes
- June 25, 2008: Court: No Death Penalty For Raping Children
- June 6, 2008: Ruiz Convicted In Dallas Cop's Murder
- November 17, 2007: Slain Officer's Widow: I Can't Forgive Heard
- November 13, 2007: Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Murder In FW Officer's Death
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07-12-08, 03:41 PM #2
“By your verdict today when you do justice, you are going to re-affirm for...all the other police officers in the city that it's worth it,” Mr. Beach said. “It does matter.”
Thanks for the post, TXCharlie
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