A criminal street gang member was sentenced Friday to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 25 years to life in state prison for the shooting-murder of a man, whom the defendant had intended to rob.
Albert Lubo Ruedas, 25, Garden Grove, was found guilty by a jury June 15, 2011, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery for a criminal street gang purpose and one felony count of street terrorism. The sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm and criminal street gang activity were found true.
The defendant is a member of an Anaheim Hispanic criminal street gang. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on July 29, 2008, 46-year-old Daniel Jimenez Lopez was walking home alone on Sullivan Street in Santa Ana.
The victim was not a gang member. Armed with a firearm, Ruedas and an unknown accomplice ran up to the victim with the intention of robbing him.
One of the defendants grabbed the victim and put him in a choke-hold as Lopez struggled to get away. Ruedas then pulled out his firearm and shot the victim four times, hitting him in the stomach and buttocks. The defendants then fled the scene without the victim’s property, leaving the victim to die.
Lopez collapsed and called 911. He died an hour later in the hospital. A passing motorist, who had observed the defendants put the victim in a headlock, made a u-turn to help Lopez only to find the victim had been shot. The witness provided a description of the defendants’ vehicle to police. The Santa Ana Police Department responded to the scene and began investigating this case.
On Aug. 3, 2008, Ruedas was stopped by the Fullerton Police Department in a routine traffic stop while driving in Fullerton. The defendant was driving the gold Chevrolet Suburban seen by the witness leaving the scene of the murder several days earlier. Ruedas was in possession of the firearm used in the murder in the center console of the vehicle.
Ruedas’ accomplice remains unidentified. Anyone with additional information regarding the identity of the unknown accomplice is encouraged to contact the District Attorney Supervising Gang Unit Investigator at (714) 347-8844.
At the sentencing Friday, the victim’s sister, Juana Jiminez, gave an impact statement and told the court that her brother was planning to return to Mexico to open a restaurant. She described him as a special father to his son, who feels the absence of his father. She also told the court that his friends admired him for his courage.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Duff prosecuted this case.