Alleged puppy killer incompetent for trial, for now

Bud Wally Ruiz

The Gilroy man who’s been in custody since May 2011 for allegedly killing his wife’s 6-week-old Chihuahua puppy was deemed incompetent to continue on to trial – for now at least – according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Troy Benson.

The defendant Bud Wally Ruiz, 53, was recommended to seek help with an appointed doctor at a facility, where he will remain in custody until Ruiz returns to competency, Benson said, or considered fit for trial.

All criminal proceedings are halted for now.

“It could be two months or it could be a year. I really don’t know,” Benson said.

Ruiz has never entered a plea. His mental competency has been under scrutiny for many months. He’s been subject to several hours of psychological evaluations, and a court-appointed clinical psychologist has requested an additional $1,000 to continue the examinations, according to documents filed with the Santa Clara County Superior Court Jan. 5.

From those exams, Ruiz’s attorney made a motion based on Penal Code 1368, which says at the defendant’s request the court can recess proceedings “for as long as may be reasonably necessary to … form an opinion as to the mental competence.”

Ruiz faces two counts of felony animal cruelty and one count of misdemeanor battery for allegedly throwing the puppy across the room during an argument with his wife in 2010, police said.

He faces 25 years to life in prison under California’s Three-Strikes Law because of past felony convictions, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Ruiz is listed as a register sex offender, according to the Megan’s Law website.

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