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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Weather delays hearing in inv. manslaughter charge

  • A hearing for Braulio De La Cruz-Gonzalez, 19, scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25 has yet to be rescheduled. The hearing was not held as planned because the Ford County Courthouse was closed Monday due to weather.
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  • A hearing for Braulio De La Cruz-Gonzalez, 19, scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25 has yet to be rescheduled. The hearing was not held as planned because the Ford County Courthouse was closed Monday due to weather.
    De La Cruz-Gonzalez has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of driving left of center for the April 8, 2012 deaths of 67-year-old Fred Ruda and 90-year-old Eleanor T. Sexson. Two alternative charges of vehicular homicide are also on the table.
    Ruda and Sexson, both of Hays, were killed in a car accident seven miles west of Dodge City.
    According to Assistant Ford County Attorney Kevin Salzman, the decision to charge De La Cruz-Gonzales was made after a review of all available evidence from the crash including witness statements and statutory case law.
    According to an article published in the Daily Globe two days after the crash, De La Cruz-Gonzalez was eastbound on U.S. Highway 56 when his 2005 GMC Yukon crossed the center line and struck a westbound 2010 Buick Lucerne driven Ruda. The Buick went into the north ditch and came to rest on its wheels facing north, and the Yukon rolled over, entered the north ditch and came to rest on its passenger's side facing south. Another passenger, 63-year-old Sherrill Ruda of Hays, suffered disabling injuries and was taken to Western Plains Medical Complex for treatment.
    De La Cruz-Gonzalez was also injured and was taken to the hospital. His passenger, 16-year-old Alejandro Penagos of Dodge City, may have had minor injuries but was not hospitalized.
    Fred Ruda was a longtime Fort Hays State University professor, according to an article by the Hays Daily News. The Ruda's, along with Sherrill's mother Eleanor, were en route to Montezuma to spend Easter Sunday at the home of a family member.
    De La Cruz-Gonzalez is out on bond.
    If found guilty, he could face anywhere from 31 months to 136 months in prison for each involuntary manslaughter charge.

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