Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
December 22, 2008
Susan Kang Schroeder
THIRD-STRIKER INDICTED FOR MURDERING
PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND AND UNBORN BABY IN HIGH SPEED CRASH WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL
SANTA ANA – A third striker was indicted today on charges of murdering his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn 5-month-old baby by crashing into a tree at more than 60 mph while under the influence of alcohol. Danny Calvin Ruiz, 35, Laguna Hills, was indicted by the grand jury on two felony counts of murder. Ruiz is a third striker with two prior strike convictions for a 1991 robbery and a 1995 carjacking. He faces a maximum sentence of 67 years to life in prison if convicted. Ruiz is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Jan. 7, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The Orange County District Attorney charged Ruiz with the murders in May 2008 and took the case to the grand jury today.
On May 3, 2008, Ruiz is accused of driving more than 60 mph in a 35 mph zone in his Chevrolet Blazer on Camino De Estrella in San Clemente. He was on his way home from a wedding reception. Ruiz’ pregnant girlfriend, 33-year-old Andrea Gerdon, was sitting in the passenger seat. The defendant is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .18 percent and crashing into a palm tree. Gerdon and her unborn baby were killed.
Ruiz was convicted in an earlier case in January 2008 of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol. The defendant is accused of knowing that driving while intoxicated could be deadly to himself and others and signed on his guilty plea form four months prior to the crash that he understood that he could be prosecuted for murder if he was responsible for the death of another while driving under the influence.
Ruiz was released on parole in August 2007, stemming from a 15-year sentence for a 1995 carjacking conviction. The defendant is accused of being on parole at the time of the murders and his arrest in January for driving under the influence. His parole terms prohibit the defendant from consuming any alcohol or driving without the permission of his parole officer.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.