The trial date for a man accused of murder in a fatal shooting on New Year’s Day 2018 has been vacated.
Brian Charles Ruiz, 30, appeared before Judge Michael Carrozzo on Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren said Mr. Ruiz’s January trial date was vacated at the defendant’s request. No new trial date has been set. The defendant will appear for a settlement conference on Jan. 30.
Mr. Ruiz was originally charged with murder in the shooting death of Jesus Reyes and the attempted murder of another man on Jan. 1, 2018, with co-defendant Joel Angel Campos. The charges carry gang enhancements.
Mr. Campos’ brother, Adrian Ramon Campos, was charged as an accessory. Adrian Campos pleaded guilty on Sept. 24, 2018 to felony assault with brass knuckles for the benefit of the Westside gang and felony accessory to murder with a gang enhancement. He was sentenced to four years in prison on Oct. 29, 2018.
The case against Joel Angel Campos was suspended in September due to a mental competency doubt filed by his attorney, Doug Hayes.
On Jan. 1, 2018, the Santa Barbara Police Department responded to reports of gunshots at around 3:30 a.m. at a residence in the 200 block of West Victoria Street.
Officers found Mr. Reyes dead in the street in the 1300 block of De la Vina Street and the second victim, then 19, standing on the sidewalk of the 200 block of West Victoria Street. They were Santa Barbara’s first shooting victims 2018.
Police say the attack occurred at a New Year’s party with as many as 20 people in attendance. Some at the party allegedly had gang affiliations.
Mr. Ruiz was arrested Jan. 14, 2018, at the Mexican border in San Ysidro. Joel Campos was arrested Jan. 19, 2018, in Solvang.