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Two men charged in Carina Saunders killing; affidavit details torture

Oklahoma County district attorney charges two men in death of woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffel bag.
BY TIM WILLERT twillert@opubco.com Modified: July 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm •  Published: July 23, 2012

One of the men charged Monday in the killing of Carina Saunders beat her, tied her to a table and tortured her by sawing off her left foot and then trying to cut off her right foot before the saw broke, an affidavit shows a witness told police.

The Oklahoma County district attorney's office filed first-degree murder charges against Luis Enrique Ruiz and Jimmy Lee Massey Jr. in the killing of Saunders, the 19-year-old Mustang woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffel bag in Bethany in October 2011.

Ruiz, 37, and Massey, 33, of Oklahoma City, previously had been identified as suspects in the case and have been in custody in the Oklahoma County jail.

Ruiz planned and carried out the torture killing, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with his charges Monday in Oklahoma County District Court.

In the affidavit, a woman named Michelle Hanshaw told police she went to a house on S Harvey Avenue in Oklahoma City with Saunders and witnessed Ruiz “physically beat Carina Saunders and then tie her up.”

Ruiz then dragged Saunders to an upstairs room and tied her to a small table with rope and twine before using the saw on her feet, Hanshaw told Bethany police investigators.

Hanshaw, according to the probable cause affidavit filed with the murder charge against Massey, “jumped out a window to escape” after witnessing the killing.

Stephanie Howard, Ruiz's girlfriend in October 2011, told investigators that on two occasions she and Ruiz had to “baby-sit” a girl Howard later learned was Carina Saunders, police reported.

Ruiz said Saunders was going to be “dealt with,” Howard told investigators.

Another woman was at the house on S Harvey Avenue with Saunders and Hanshaw, but left soon after, police reported. Tia Downour said she had been told there was a video of the homicide on the phone, and the phone belonged to Ruiz, the affidavit shows.

Downour told investigators she shared a room at the Bel-Aire Hotel with Ruiz in May, and when he went to the bathroom, she viewed the video, police reported.

“Downour said she watched for a few seconds until Saunders began to scream,” Bethany police Lt. JR Jencks wrote in the affidavit.

Downour told investigators she recognized Luis Ruiz “as the person in the video cutting off the foot of Saunders,” the lieutenant wrote.

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