GILROY (KCBS) — A registered sex offender from Gilroy, accused of killing a Chihuahua puppy, could spend the rest of his life in prison under California’s “three strikes” law.

On May 12, Bud Wally Ruiz, 52, showed up drunk at his wife’s house in Gilroy. When she told him to leave, he packed up some things, including the six-week old Chihuahua he had given his wife for Mother’s Day. When she told him to leave the puppy, he allegedly threw it against the wall, killing the puppy instantly.

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KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Ruiz is now facing two counts of animal cruelty. Because of prior conviction, these felony charges could put Ruiz away for life if he’s tried under the “three strikes” law, which imposes a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life on repeat offenders charged with violent crimes.

San Jose lawyer Steven Clark said this is not a case the defense will want to take to trial.

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“The defense is going to have a tough time because jurors take animal cruelty cases very seriously and they’re not very sympathetic to people who harm animals for no reason,” Clark said.

Ruiz’s wife is defending her husband, saying the killing was an accident.

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