30 Years for Defendant in Love Triangle Murder

Judge David Lease has sentenced defendant, Denzel Kasaka, 23 of Silver Spring, to 40 years suspend all but 30 for the death of Jose Augusto Ruiz, 20. He also faces five years of supervised probation upon release.

The sentence was handed down late yesterday. In October, a jury convicted Kasaka of second-degree murder.

The chilling details from the indictment memorandum can be seen below:

On June 14, 2020, Lucya Ramirez was spending the day with Jose Ruiz.  Around 10am, the two were at a gas station in Silver Spring, when Ruiz went inside the gas station and Ramirez stayed in the car. Ruiz received a phone call through Ramirez’ Instagram app which had been accessed by her ex-boyfriend Denzel Kasaka. Kasaka spoke with Ruiz on the phone. He then sent messages from Ramirez’s Instagram making it seem like it was coming from Ramirez. Kasaka was acting jealous and was clearly upset that the two were spending the day together.

                Later in the day, they decided to go to Ramirez’ home so she could get some clothes to spend the night with Ruiz. As the two pulled into her neighborhood she noticed Kasaka pulling out of her neighborhood in his 2004 Audi 4-Door Sedan. She believed Kasaka was looking for her, so she texted him to tell him she was home. Ramirez and Ruiz then went to Ruiz’ grandmother’s home to drink and hang out. While they were at Ruiz’ grandmothers, however, Kasaka continued to send messages to both of them through Instagram. He brought Ramirez back to her house around 10pm after they had a disagreement regarding Kasaka and all the threatening messages he was sending. Eventually, the two decided to keep their plans to spend the night together so they drove back to Ruiz’ house located at 13700 block of Avonshire Drive in Silver Spring. When they arrived at Ruiz’ townhome, the two stayed in their vehicle.

                Ramirez, once again noticed Kasaka enter the neighborhood. She believed he had followed them back to Ruiz’ house. He circled the block once in his Audi and then stopped his vehicle right in front of Ramirez and Ruiz’ vehicle. Kasaka stepped out of his car and walked over to Ruiz and Ramirez. Kasaka and Ruiz then got in a physical altercation, hitting and punching each other while Ramirez was screaming and attempting to keep them apart. At no point during the fight did Ramirez or Ruiz have any weapons. Various neighbors were alerted by the sounds of the screaming and one individual took a video of the fight. At some point during the fight, Ruiz broke the back window of Kasaka’s vehicle. After that, Kasaka ran back to his vehicle and drove away several feet and suddenly stopped.  He exited his car armed with a knife and came back to Ruiz. He stabbed him twice in the abdomen area and one wound was directly to the heart. He was bleeding profusely. Ramirez helped Ruiz back to his vehicle. She was hysterical and unable to speak to witnesses who ended up calling 911. Kasaka fled the scene in his vehicle.

Officers with Montgomery County Police arrived at 13767 Avonshire Drive. They found Ramirez in the passenger seat of the vehicle screaming and covered in blood. Ruiz was unconscious and suffering from knife wounds. On scene, Ramirez was hysterical and unable to give an account to police of what happened. Witnesses were able to give a description of Kasaka and his vehicle.

                Ruiz was transported to White Oak Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where an autopsy revealed the cause of death was a stab wound to the heart and the manner of death, a homicide.

                Later that night, Ramirez spoke to police and gave a full account of the day’s events. She identified Denzel Kasaka as the individual who stabbed Jose Ruiz that day after stalking the two of them via social media. Kasaka’s vehicle was located later that night on Good Hope Road in Silver Spring, within walking distance from his home on Twig Terrace in Silver Spring. The back window was broken as witnesses had described.  Two days after the murder he turned himself in to police.

All events occurred in Montgomery County Maryland.

Denzel Kasaka

José Ruiz

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