He was released on parole, and now he is headed to death row to await his execution after killing three people.
Jade Douglas Harris was convicted in February 2020 of three counts of murder for the fatal shooting deaths of Irene Cardenas Reyes, 35, Josimar Rojas, 26, and Susana Perez Ruelas, 34. He was convicted of two counts of attempted murder, four counts of kidnapping for carjacking and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
On Oct. 24, 2012, within three months of Harris’ release from prison, Harris had gone to the 8700 block of Cleta Street in Downey, California, in a pretense to purchase a car that had been advertised for sale on Craigslist.
Ruelas was working at the United States Fire Protection and had placed the online advertisement to sell the car.
Harris tied up Rojas and Reyes and placed them on their knees before shooting them each in the head to eliminate witnesses.Then, he forced Ruelas to drive him with her 13-year-old son to their family home, where the 2010 Camaro had been parked.
After gaining access to the car, Harris fatally shot Ruelas and wounded her son. He left the crime scene and drove the car to Los Angeles.
Ruelas’ son called 911 immediately after the deadly ordeal.
The next day, Harris was arrested, and the car was located. Investigators found his DNA on the car’s headrest, and gun powder residue was also found on the defendant’s jeans.
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“The plan was to kill everybody. The charade is over. This is not going to be a (car) sale,” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said in his closing arguments, according to Daily Breeze.
The jury deliberated for just four hours before returning with a guilty verdict on all counts. In addition, Harris was also found true of the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the commission of a burglary, carjacking, and kidnapping.
That made him eligible for a death penalty sentence.
That sentence was recommended by a jury and officially handed down this month. While he was sentenced to death, California currently has a moratorium on carrying out executions.
According to Press-Telegram, in an ironic twist, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, attempted to address the court through a statement describing his view against the death penalty. However, Superior Court Judge Raul A. Sahagun refused the statement to be read in court.
The judge also denied Harris’ motion for a new trial and an automatic commutation to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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