Man pleads guilty to driving over woman’s body; Co-defendant to stand trial
SAN DIEGO — Moments before a woman parolee accused of stabbing and running over a woman in a City Heights alley was ordered to stand trial for murder, an alleged accomplice pleaded guilty to hit-and-run, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Christina Daniel, 32, is charged in the April 20 death of 29-year-old Jasmine Ruiz and faces at least 26 years to life in prison if convicted.
San Diego police homicide Detective Kimberly Collier testified during a preliminary hearing that Daniel told her that she and Ruiz had spent time together in prison.
After her arrest on April 26, Daniel told detectives that she had been using drugs when she stabbed Ruiz in the neck and ran her over with a 1993 Toyota Camry, Collier testified.
A 16-year-old girl named Martha testified that she heard people arguing and fighting about 10 a.m. in an alley in the 4100 block of Wilson Avenue.
The teen said she came out of her apartment and saw two men and a woman running from the scene. The witness said she asked Daniel if she was okay and she “didn’t say anything” and kept running.
The teenager said she ran to Ruiz, who was trapped under an abandoned car and screaming “I’m dying!”
Police found a supermarket receipt in the car and obtained surveillance video from the market showing Daniel and Marco Antonio Gutierrez in the store 30 minutes before the fatal confrontation.
Homicide Detective Jonathan Dungan testified that a parolee told him that Daniel came to his home after the murder and said “Get me out of here!”
The parolee said he refused, but did hide a knife that Daniel gave him in a wall heater.
Dungan testified that there was a lot of blood in the car that struck Ruiz.
“It was pretty much everywhere,” the detective testified.
At Daniel’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney David Bost said the defendant is on parole for a 2007 carjacking, and has also been charged in a separate case in the South Bay with stabbing a person in the head and back.
Bost said police initially thought Ruiz was the victim of a hit-and-run. A subsequent investigation determined that the victim was stabbed in the jugular vein, probably while she was in a car that she had borrowed, then was pushed out of the vehicle and run over and dragged about 15 to 20 feet, the prosecutor said.
Police said Ruiz had been staying with friends in the area.
Following the preliminary hearing, Judge Frederic Link found that enough evidence was presented for Daniel to proceed to trial. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Oct. 25.
Before the preliminary hearing, Gutierrez, 29, pleaded guilty to hit-and-run. He is expected to be sentenced to three years in prison on Nov. 9.