She was a sweet and innocent 3-year-old girl.
He was a 34-year-old Guatemalan national who fatally stabbed her in an unprovoked attack.
Now he’s been sentenced to 37 years to life for killing her. And still… LAPD won’t release any details on his immigration status or how long he’s been in the U.S. The only thing they’ve said is that he had a criminal history.
Here’s what came out of court.
Ricardo Augusto Utuy was found guilty of fatally stabbing a 3-year-old at a clothing factory on Halloween night in downtown Los Angeles in 2016, and was also sentenced for injuring a woman in a separate attack.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter rejected a request by the defense to run the sentences for the two crimes at the same time, saying they involved “two totally separate victims” in “two totally different acts” and that the 37-year-old defendant had “earned” consecutive terms.
The judge also shot down a request by the defense for a new trial for Utuy. In early September, he was convicted of first-degree murder for the attack on Ruby Vasquez.
Utuy stabbed her three times with a knife as she went to give her father a cookie at a factory in the 800 block of McGarry Street, near Eighth and Alameda streets.
According to her mother, the girl went to give her dad a cookie when she saw her daughter running back toward her with Utuy close behind.
“Her very last act in her life was the fact that she took a bag of cookies and gave one cookie to her mom and then said, `Mom, I’ll be right back. I’m going to give this cookie to my daddy,’ and when she gave that cookie to her daddy, that’s when the unthinkable, unimaginable act, the evil act(occurred). So Ruby wasn’t at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was Utuy who was at the wrong place doing the evil act that he did…”
The jury also found Utuy guilty of attempted murder for the stabbing of a woman at another downtown Los Angeles factory on March 10, 2016.
What did they find was his motive? According to a police detective who testified at the trial, it was:
“Pretty much said that he had voices coming to him and daring him to kill Ruby.”
The detective told reporters there was also some mention of a Ouija board.
Ricardo Augusto Utuy, 37, also goes by the name Juan Perez. In September, he was found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder and attempted murder, according to Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta.
The case has stretched on for some time – his first court appearance for the crime was in November 2016.
The day after the attack on the girl, the Guatemalan national surrendered to Los Angeles police… who then linked him to the earlier attack.
According to the police detective who testified, he is “confident” that Utuy will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Utuy’s attorney said they plan on appealing.
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In the meantime in Virginia, a police officer had the nerve and the audacity to notify ICE that he had detained a subject that they had a warrant on. He was subsequently suspended.
As reported by the Washington Times, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said Tuesday he suspended an officer who cooperated with federal deportation officers by turning over an illegal immigrant he encountered during a traffic stop — a move the chief said violated department policy.
Chief Roessler didn’t identify the officer but said he “deprived a person of their freedom” by cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The chief called that unacceptable.
“Our county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and no one should have the perception that FCPD is acting as a civil immigration agent for ICE,” he said in a statement. “This matter damages our reputation and the longstanding policy that I have stated many times that our officers shall not act as immigration agents.”
Hey Chief? Are you listening? The only thing here that is unacceptable is you suspending an officer for upholding his oath.
This officer was not being an immigration agent. He was merely extending a professional courtesy. He was doing his job.
The subject lost their “right to freedom” when they violated multiple laws. You would absolutely “deprive me of my freedom” if I was stopped in Fairfax and found to have a warrant for failure to appear.
For Roessler to claim that this officer was wrong for detaining a subject that was breaking the law is ludicrous. Had a stopped a suspect who was driving without a license, had a warrant for failure to appear in Stafford County and called Stafford to come pick him up, would he still be suspended?
Of course not. Because that is his job. It is your job. And you failed to do what you were hired to do. And you decided to suspend an officer for doing the very thing he swore to the people of Fairfax County that he would do.
The chief said the officer was working a traffic accident in the Huntington section of the Virginia county on Sept. 21 and came across someone without a driver’s license. When the officer ran the name, it returned a flag from ICE, which said the immigrant was a fugitive after failing to appear for a deportation hearing.
The county’s system confirmed the warrant. The officer called, and an ICE employee responded.
Chief Roesslersaid the county officer should not have detained the immigrant to turn over to ICE. He said that move broke department policy, which tells officers not to bother to confirm administrative warrants through the county’s system. The majority of administrative warrants are from ICE.
“The officer involved in this event has been relieved of all law enforcement duties pending the outcome of this investigation,” the chief said.
Looks like the wrong Fairfax County police official has been relieved of his law enforcement duties.
Luis Aguilar, director of CASA Virginia, a leading advocacy group for immigrants, said Chief Roessler’s decision to suspend an officer was bold — and correct.
Of course he did. Why would we applaud an officer for doing his job when we can praise a police chief for allowing criminals to run free with no accountability?
“We think it’s a very appropriate action,” Mr. Aguilar told The Washington Times. “This is local law enforcement, this is the local police department, and they cannot be enforcing federal immigration laws. … This is a clear message of where and how the chief of police thinks.”
Oh, so much to dissect in that one statement.
ICE did not respond to a request for comment, but the agency’s acting director last week used a press conference at the White House to complain about communities that refused to cooperate with his deportation officers.
Matthew T. Albence, the acting director of ICE, said police departments routinely cooperate with other departments on warrants and detention requests and there is no reason they should treat ICE differently.
“I guarantee you, I can go into Fairfax County [court] today and there will probably be sheriffs from Loudoun County, sheriffs from Prince William County, maybe a couple of Marshals guys that are there waiting for somebody,” he said. “It’s a common occurrence in law enforcement. The only reason it’s being made controversial is because politicians are looking to exploit it.”
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Fairfax County’s police department is getting the law enforcement equation backward.
“The police chief is ordering an investigation of an officer who did exactly the right thing by responding to an active ICE warrant on an illegal alien who was a fugitive,” she said. “It’s astonishing that a police chief is more intent on punishing his officer than seeing to it that legitimate laws are enforced.”
She disputed the police department’s suggestion that the county officer was acting as an agent of ICE.
She said that is no more true than if he had held someone for a warrant issued by neighboring Montgomery County in Maryland.
She said Fairfax police intended to shame the officer.
Chief Roesslersaid the illegal immigrant in question was picked up by ICE and has been processed and released on an ankle bracelet pending the outcome of deportation proceedings.
Good. Then he will be held accountable.
Aguilar said it’s likely the migrant will be deported and the police officer will be responsible.
“We don’t even know about the family itself, who’s going to be separated. We don’t know if there’s kids involved,” he said.
He’s not the only chief who has made headlines recently for having no respect for the rights of citizens.
Last week, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.”
That hearing covered issues that were framed to overlook the false narrative that Americans need protection from inanimate objects, and not from violent people with criminal tendencies. People who will use anything and everything at their disposal to carry out their violent plans.
The hearing also revealed the true agenda of the Democratic leadership, which was to lay out arguments In favor of the repealing of the 2ndAmendment, the illegalization of weapons ownership, and the left’s complete refusal to engage in useful conversation regarding how Congress might attack the issue of gun safety.
Easily the most eye-opening claim of the proceedings came when Dr. RaShall Brackney, Chief of the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia responded to a question from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) about whether she would support a ban on hunting rifles.
“I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” Brackney replied.
Her statement seemed to indicate that she would be open to the banning of all firearms, and more specifically, all weapons.
So, for those keeping score at home, here is a list of items that would also need to be banned, according to the good doctor.
Guns. Knives. Vehicles. Baseball bats. Fire. Rocks. Rope. Screwdrivers. Hammers. Hands. The list goes on and on.
While Brackney did not actually call for a ban of these other items, that is essentially what she is doing in using such careless language.
According to the NRA, Dr. Brackney was given two opportunities by pro-gun committee members to walk back or provide more context for that statement. Instead, she dug in and reiterated the statement.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) asked her directly, “Okay, so you then stand for the proposition to ban any type of firearm, because any firearm can be used and misused to kill people.”
Rather than answering the question directly, Dr. Brackney began talking about police and the social contract. Rep. Steube tried asking again, only to be interrupted by an anti-gun committee member who tried to raise a point of order.
She claimed that Rep. Steube was “attacking” the witness – when in fact he was merely trying to get a straight answer – and requested that he “tone down his words.” That exchange took up most of Steube’s remaining time for questioning, which was not reinstated.
Again Rep. Steube tried, to clarify, asking:
“Any type of weapon … that can be used to kill people should be banned?”
And then the response…
“Sir,” Brackney replied, “you’re adding the word ‘type.’ I said ‘any weapons,’ so that’s my answer. Thank you.”
Sadly, none of the committee members or witnesses in favor of the ban attempted to distance themselves from Brackney’s push for a complete gun ban.
Okay, let’s pause here for a quick question.
Does anyone else have an issue with Dr. Police Chief saying that all means of self-defense should be outlawed, while sitting on the side of the table that would be allowed to keep weapons should the government ever follow her advice?
Unfortunately, Dr. Brackney’s statements may have been one of the only honest claims of the entire hearing by those arguing in favor of the ban.
In an outright misrepresentation (or as we like to call them, lies), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a Harvard Law School graduate, told a breathtaking whopper about the U.S. Supreme Court’s pivotal Second Amendment decision, District of Columbia v. Heller:
He claimed the decision says, “the Second Amendment gives you a right to a handgun for purposes of self-defense and a rifle for purposes of hunting or recreation, but nowhere does it give you a right to weapons of war.”
In a very concise breakdown, the NRA said that the essence of theHeller decision is that Americans have a right to possess the sorts of bearable arms “in common use for lawful purposes,” particularly self-defense, and that handguns qualify because they are overwhelmingly chosen by responsible, law-abiding persons for that purpose.
Notably, the decision does not purport to overturn the 1939 Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Miller, which held that the Second Amendment protection extends to arms that are “part of the ordinary military equipment” or the use of which “could contribute to the common defense.”
It also notes that while Americans of the founding era might have owned firearms primarily for self-defense and hunting, the founders themselves wanted to ensure the Second Amendment provided an effective check against disarming the people, which in turn was necessary to “be able to resist tyranny.”
Nowhere does either decision suggest that rifles are only protected to the extent they are used for hunting or recreation. Indeed, Heller makes clear that self-defense is the “core lawful purpose” with which the Second Amendment is concerned.
Another theme pushed again and again was that “assault weapons” like the AR-15 are “battlefield weapons” that have no place on “America’s streets.”
Fortunately, as witness Amy Swearer testified, the overwhelmingly majority of the 16 million or so AR and AK pattern rifles in America are not “on the streets” but in the homes of law-abiding owners who never have and never will use them for anything other than lawful purposes.
Violent criminals have not embraced semi-automatic rifles as their “weapons of choice.”
Rifles of all types, of which the guns that would be categorized as “assault weapons” are only a subset, are used in only 2% of homicides. In 2018, more than five times as many people were killed with knives than were killed with all rifles.
The same year, more than twice as many people were killed with personal weapons like hands, fists, or feet.
Remember the list of potentially banned items, I forgot to add feet.
When all was said and done, gun owners had no reassurance that there was any limiting principle to the anti-gun committee members’ prohibitive intentions or that they were willing to learn anything that would influence their decision-making.
Indeed, one could imagine that long after semi-automatic rifles were banned, the exact same hearing could be held on the next class of firearm law-abiding gun owners would be forced to surrender because the guns were used in crimes they did not commit.