Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wellington Up With Tears

"No arrests in Wednesday’s two Boston homicides" by Jan Ransom, Laura Crimaldi and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  December 10, 2015

Everyone was rooting for Wellington Ruiz, even his former attorney.

But Ruiz, 25, was gunned down on Aguadilla Street in the South End at 1:30 a.m., Wednesday, police said.

“It’s sad,” said James B. Krasnoo, an Andover attorney, who represented Ruiz in US District Court in Boston in 2012 and last had contact with him about six months ago when Ruiz called to talk. “He was very bright. He had an engaging smile. . . . If he could get his act together, he could be a very worthwhile citizen of the United States.’’

Ruiz, a native of the Dominican Republic, had a checkered life. His father brought Ruiz to the United States when he was 4 years old then left him with his aunt who raised him alongside her three children. The aunt died of cancer when Ruiz was in high school, Krasnoo said.

Ruiz’s grandmother came from the Dominican Republic to care for his aunt’s children but refused to welcome Ruiz. Her rejection “was traumatic for him,” Krasnoo said.

Krasnoo said that in 2010, Ruiz was injured by a stray bullet which could not be removed by surgeons. It was left in his spine and he was ordered to limit his physical activity to prevent the bullet from breaking free and traveling through his body, Krasnoo said.

Krasnoo said police insisted Ruiz was shot as part of a gang dispute, though Ruiz denied being a part of a gang. Krasnoo said Ruiz did not finish his senior year of high school because of the time it took to recover.

“That threw everything off,’’ Krasnoo said.

A year later Ruiz was charged with assault to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after a man was shot in the arm on East Brookline Street, court records show. Then in 2012 Ruiz faced the same charges again after his uncle told police Ruiz and his friend attacked him. Charges in both cases were dismissed.

In papers filed in US District Court in Boston, a federal prosecutor said in 2013 that he expected Ruiz to be deported to the Dominican Republic as a result of Ruiz’s decision to plead guilty to drug charges. Krasnoo, who did not represent Ruiz on that case, said Ruiz was detained by immigration officials for about six months in 2013, but was released.

Boston police arrested Ruiz on Feb. 4 and charged him with armed robbery, according to court records. Ruiz completed 15 hours of community service through a life skills program at an organization called Vibrant Boston and the case was dismissed.

Neighbors near the crime scene were shaken by the violence....