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Former suspect in Carina Saunders slaying sues Bethany and its police department

Luis Enrique Ruiz, 39, is suing the city of Bethany, its police chief and officers involved in the investigation, alleging civil rights violations during the investigation of the Carina Saunders investigation, according to a complaint filed Thursday in Oklahoma City federal court.
by Matt Dinger Published: February 20, 2014

A former murder defendant in the brutal slaying of a 19-year-old girl is suing the city of Bethany, the police chief and officers involved in the investigation alleging that they coerced testimony, fabricated evidence and ignored proof of his innocence.

Luis Enrique Ruiz, 39, contends that Bethany Police Chief Phil Cole, former police Capt. Jack Jencks and police Lt. Austin Warfield “employed deceptive, misleading, manipulative and illegal tactics to manipulate and fabricate the criminal case,” in a complaint filed Thursday in Oklahoma City federal court.

The complaint contains ten claims of civil rights violations, including false arrest and imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Ruiz and Jimmy Lee Massey were charged in July 2012 with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Carina Saunders, but Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater dismissed the charges against Ruiz and Massey in February 2013.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation took over the case in February 2013. No other arrests have been made.

Saunders was reported missing Sept. 28, 2011. Her body parts were found in a duffel bag behind a Homeland Store on NW 23 and Rockwell in Bethany on Oct. 13, 2011.

After interviewing more than 80 witnesses and following up on more than a hundred leads, police unconstitutionally arrested, detained and incarcerated Ruiz, according to the complaint. He remained without bail in the Oklahoma County jail for eight months.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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