Crime and Courts

Stabbing Victim Was Stalked on Social Media by His Killer

Stabbing victim Jose Ruiz was reportedly threatened via social media days prior to his killing.

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Silver Spring, Maryland, resident Jose Ruiz was fatally stabbed 14 times in a townhouse development parking lot after being tracked on social media by the man who killed him.

Surveillance video captured Denzel Kasaka confronting his ex-girlfriend Lucya Ramirez and her boyfriend, Ruiz, in the parking lot outside Ruiz's townhome on June 14, 2020. The altercation turned physical, and Kasaka stabbed Ruiz 14 times, causing his death.

Montgomery State's Attorney John McCarthy's office says that in this case, social media was used as a tool to stalk and harass both Ruiz and Ramirez. The messages grew increasingly threatening up to the day before Ruiz was killed, with one message starting with the words, "one of you is going to leave leaking."

The state's attorney's office has testified in support of a bill in Annapolis that would add social media stalking to its current legal definition of stalking.

Kasaka was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison with 10 years suspended in the stabbing death of Ruiz, but Ruiz's brother, who spoke at the sentencing hearing, says that the punishment was not enough.

"No matter if it was a life sentence or the way it happened with the 30 years, nothing is going to bring back our brother," he said.

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