A Gilroy man who's been in custody since last May for killing his wife's 6-week-old Chihuahua puppy pleaded guilty to two counts of felony animal cruelty and once count of misdemeanor battery on Thursday.
Bud Wally Ruiz, 54, faces 25 years to life in prison under California's Three-Strikes Law because of past felony convictions, according to Troy Benson, the deputy district attorney who is prosecuting the case. Ruiz is listed as a register sex offender, according to the Megan's Law website.
The guilty plea comes after a year-long tortuous process of postpone requests on the part of the defense. The case had been suspended since March, when Ruiz' attorney requested the court to examine his mental competence for trial. But after psychiatric evaluation, he was ultimately considered competent to withstand trial and the case resumed.
Benson said Ruiz' next move will likely be to ask the court to make an exception for him in the Three Strikes Law by removing one of his prior strikes, which is known in court as "striking the strikes."
Ruiz killed his wife’s puppy, a Chihuahua named Teddy, in May 2011 by throwing it against a wall at her home during an argument in the 8800 block of Morey Way, according to the Gilroy Police Department.
Ruiz' sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Sept. 24 at the South County Courthouse.