Suspect in fatal hit-and-run appears in court, pleads no contest

Johnny Ruiz pleads no contest in elderly man's death

SAN ANTONIO – Eduardo Martinez was struck and killed on June 13, 2015, as he tried to cross in the 8000 block of General McMullen Street.

On Thursday, Johnny Ruiz, 34, plead no contest to charges of failure to stop and render aid in the case.

He allegedly struck Martinez but continued on according to court files.

“He just freaked out, he was shocked and didn’t know how to react,” said Ruiz’ attorney, Alex Scharff. “There’s some evidence where he says ‘I just didn’t want to deal with police.'”

According to Scharff, his client would have no choice.

“There was a police officer five cars back that had his camera rolling,” Scharff said.

Given that, he said he advised Ruiz to take a plea agreement just as jury selection in his trial was to begin.

“There’s always a risk to go to trial,” he said. “He was offered a cap of six years and the state will not oppose or recommend probation.”

Ruiz is eligible for probation and Scharff indicated that he will ask Judge Ron Rangel to grant it when Ruiz returns to court on Feb. 24 to be sentenced.

About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.