Jury sentences Jose Ruiz to life in prison in injury to a child trial

Ruiz given life sentence for one count, 20 years for count 2 and 10 years each for counts 3 through 8

SAN ANTONIO – A jury has sentenced a San Antonio man in a child abuse case to life in prison.

Jurors deliberated for a little under an hour before delivering their guilty verdict against Jose Ruiz, who is charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury in connection with the death of 5-year-old Mercedes Losoya in February 2022.

Ruiz was sentenced to life in prison for his first count, 20 years in prison for his second count, and 10 years in prison for counts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. The sentences will run concurrently.

The punishment phase in the trial began immediately after the verdict Monday afternoon.

WATCH: Jury finds Jose Ruiz guilty in injury to a child trial

Ruiz and Katrina Mendoza, who is Mercedes’ mother and Ruiz’s girlfriend at the time, took the girl to a South Side hospital, where she was pronounced dead. An emergency room nurse testified that Mercedes was covered in bruises from “head to toe” and “front and back.”

Mendoza testified against Ruiz as part of a plea deal, telling jurors that he severely disciplined the little girl.

“He would pull Mercedes’ hair and cover her mouth and nose. Use thumbtacks on her feet,” Mendoza told jurors. “He would mop the floor with her in her urine. Get her on the ground and drag her in her urine, and then put the clothes in her mouth.”

She added that she saw a picture from Ruiz’s phone showing dog feces smeared on Mercedes’ face.

When asked by the prosecution if she tried to stop Ruiz, Mendoza responded by saying “several times,” but he didn’t listen to her. She later admitted that she allowed the abuse.

Mendoza will be sentenced after the trial and faces a maximum punishment of 45 years in prison.

The trial was tried in the 187th District Court with Judge Stephanie Boyd presiding.

KSAT 12 will livestream this trial gavel to gavel. You can watch the trial on KSAT.com, KSAT Plus and KSAT’s YouTube channel.

For a full recap of the case watch: “Open Court: The Jose Ruiz Trial” below:

About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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