TORRANCE, Calif.—An ex-con has been sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for leading officers on a pursuit that ended with a crash that killed a man and his girlfriend in Inglewood, prosecutors announced April 21.
Gustavo Ruelas, 43, pleaded no contest on April 20 to one count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and felony evading while driving recklessly. He also admitted fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
He was sentenced immediately after entering his pleas.
Ruelas has prior convictions from 2003 for fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing peace officer and from 2010 for a drug offense, prosecutors said.
Officers saw the driver of a blue Dodge pickup truck speeding and running a red light on Century Boulevard at 10:35 p.m. on April 28, 2021, then entering the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway. Officers tried to pull the truck over, but the driver fled, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Franco Pepi.
The suspect exited the freeway at Manchester Avenue and led officers on a pursuit on Inglewood streets, eventually turning north on Glasgow Avenue and crashing into a sedan traveling eastbound on Olive Street, Pepi said. The pickup driver tried to escape on foot, but was quickly captured by officers, the CHP officer said.
Asia Boatwright, a 22-year-old phlebotomist, and her boyfriend, Ryan Davis, 27, were trapped in the wreckage and had to be freed by Los Angeles County firefighters. Boatwright died at the scene of the crash, and Davis died at a hospital.