An ex-con accused of leading officers on a pursuit that ended with a crash that killed a man and his girlfriend in Inglewood pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and drug charges.
Gustavo Ruelas, 42, is charged with two counts each of murder and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing death and one count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person, possession for sale of heroin and possession for sale of methamphetamine.
The criminal complaint alleges that Ruelas has prior convictions from 2003 for fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing peace officer and from 2010 for a drug offense.
Officers saw the driver of a blue Dodge pickup truck speeding and running a red light on Century Boulevard at 10:35 p.m. April 28, then entering the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway. Officers tried to pull the truck over, but the driver fled, according to California Highway Patrol 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, ere 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.
Ruelas has remained behind bars in lieu of $2 million bail since his arrest, jail records show.
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