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Published: Saturday, 2/26/2005

Toledoan gets 12 years for 2003 death

A Toledo man was convicted and sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for a shooting during a Christmas party in 2003 that killed one man and injured a woman.

Pablo Ruiz, 27, of 915 Vinton St., who entered into a plea agreement for the Dec. 14 shooting death, was sentenced by Judge Charles Doneghy to 12 years in prison.

Ruiz entered Alford pleas to a voluntary manslaughter charge for the death of Orlando Ochoa and a felonious assault charge for the shooting of Bonnie Doty, 31, who was wounded when a bullet was fired through a floor.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but pleads to a lesser charge to escape more severe penalties had the case gone to trial.

Mr. Ochoa, 21, of 1751 Stahlwood Ave. was shot in a struggle with Ruiz in the upstairs bathroom at 270 Walbridge Ave., where a Christmas party with about 20 to 30 people was taking place.

Andrew Lastra, an assistant prosecutor, said Ruiz went into the bathroom and, for reasons not completely clear, got into an argument with Mr. Ochoa that escalated into a fight.

One of the men produced a gun during the quarrel, and Ruiz gained control of it, firing into the floor and hitting Ms. Doty who was on the first floor, and then shot into Ochoa's chest, Mr. Lastra said.

Ruiz was indicted on aggravated murder and felonious assault charges with specifications for using a gun in the offenses, facing a potential 29-year prison sentence.

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors recommended a 12-year sentence. Judge Doneghy ordered Ruiz to serve nine years for voluntary manslaughter, concurrent to the three-year sentence for felonious assault.

He also was given three years for using a gun in the shooting of Mr. Ochoa.

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