Friday, April 19, 2024

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Illegal immigrant convicted in death of Jemison nurse

The saga surrounding the criminal case in the 2018 death of a Jemison woman is nearing its end.

It took only about 50 minutes of deliberation for a jury to reach a guilty verdict in the case against 20-year-old Jorge Ruiz on July 24.

Ruiz was on trial in Autauga County for the death of 29-year-old Marlena Hayes of Jemison.

The jury found Ruiz, an illegal immigrant, guilty of reckless murder for his role in Hayes’s death.

According to 19th Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson, Ruiz attended a party in Birmingham in October of last year. He was returning to Prattville early in the morning on Highway 31 when he struck Hayes, a nurse at Prattville Baptist Hospital, who was heading home after her shift.

According to Robinson, Ruiz got up early in the morning on Oct. 27, 2018, worked an entire shift at his construction job and went to a party afterwards in Birmingham.

Ruiz left Birmingham at around 5 a.m. headed back to his residence in Autauga County.

“He never slept,” Robinson said.

Hayes left the hospital around 6 a.m. and was traveling north on Highway 31 in order to get to Interstate 65.

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