• Jacobo Ruelas sentenced to life without parole for 1997 Olinger murder

    Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo announced today that Judge Mark E. Hood sentenced Jacobo Ruelas, Jr., age 34 and a resident of Soledad, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his conviction of first-degree murder with special circumstances of 17-year-old Kristopher Olinger, as well as for convictions of kidnapping for carjacking, and kidnapping for robbery. All these crimes occurred in 1997. 

    Jacobo Ruelas committed first-degree murder by killing Kristopher Olinger, aged 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, Pacific Grove Commander Tom Uretsky 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.

    District Attorney Dean Flippo stated that, “It has taken a number of years to bring the responsible individuals to final verdicts.” Flippo said that he commends the family of Kris Olinger for remaining steadfast over all these years in working to see that justice was done. He noted that Kris’s mother Shell and his step-father Loren both died before final resolution of the case. Kris’s step-brother Travis Phillips has been committed to seeing that justice was done and was an inspiration to the prosecution team by his unwavering support in our efforts to bring the defendants to trial. He also commended the officers of the Pacific Grove Police Department for their perseverance in pursuing the suspects and the outstanding assistance of District Attorney Investigators.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 30, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News

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