• Court Upholds Conviction of Jacob Ruelas in Kris Olinger Murder of 1977

     Murder in Pacific Grove involved kidnapping for carjacking and kidnapping for robbery

     Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo announced today, Oct. 26, 2015, that the Sixth District Appellate Court upheld the jury verdict and conviction of Jacobo Ruelas, age 36 and a former resident of Soledad. Ruelas was previously convicted by a jury of first-degree murder with special circumstances, kidnapping for carjacking, and kidnapping for robbery for the murder of 17-year-old Kristopher Olinger in 1997.

    Jacobo Ruelas committed first-degree murder by killing Kristopher Olinger, age 17, after carjacking, kidnapping, and robbing the Monterey High School senior. In September of 1997, Kris was on a class assignment taking photographs of the Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove when he was stabbed 29 times. Kris was still alive despite his severe injuries when his assailants tossed him over a cliff in Pacific Grove. Kris managed to climb up the cliff only to die in the adjoining dirt turnout. On September 30, 1997, law enforcement officials located Kris Olinger’s vehicle in San Jose. There were no known suspects at that time.

    In 2005, investigators received information through the California Department of Justice Automated Palm Print System that prints recovered from the victim’s vehicle matched Jacobo Ruelas and his brother Angel Ruelas. Subsequent investigation led to eye-witnesses to the murder.

    In August of 2006, the Grand Jury of Monterey County indicted Jacobo Ruelas and Angel Ruelas on charges of special circumstance murder, carjacking, and kidnapping. Angel Ruelas pled guilty to special circumstances murder, kidnapping and carjacking with gang and weapon enhancements on April 24, 2013, as he began his jury trial. He was later sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

    Jacobo Ruelas was sentenced by Judge Mark E. Hood to life in prison without possibility of parole plus one year.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 26, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Police Log

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