California Releases Convicted Murderer Serving 84-Year Sentence Over Pandemic

Daily Wire reported that California officials released a convicted murderer from prison to provide space in the prison system for social distancing.

Tereba Williams served almost 20 years, which is less than a quarter of her 84-year sentence that she received for murder in 2001.

Williams kidnapped a man at gunpoint and shot him in the stomach after she forced him into her trunk. After driving the victim 750 miles across state lines, she checked into a hotel and tied him to a chair in the room. Williams left the man bleeding from the gunshot wound in his abdomen.

The victim’s name was Kevin Ruska Jr. and he was 23 at the time of the attack. He was found dead in the motel room, tied to chair where Williams left him.

“It’s appalling to me everything that’s been allowed to happen. I don’t think for one second she’s going to walk out there a changed person, she’s not,” said Karri Phillips, Kevin Ruska Jr’s cousin.

The victim’s father, Kevin Ruska Sr. said “And for this to come down, for her to walk, I don’t even know why, to this day, why my son is dead,”

The CDCR described their procedure for releasing prisoners during the pandemic in a statement to Daily Wire. The new emergency measures are intended to “protect all those who live and work in our state prisons, and the community at-large, in a way that aligns public health and public safety,”

Current policy reportedly “allows the release of an incarcerated person in the case of an emergency that endangers their life.”

The details how Williams meets those standards is unknown, but a spokesperson assured Daily Wire that “Terebea Williams was released from CDCR custody on July 29 under Government Code section 8658 regulations, which allows the release of an incarcerated person in the case of an emergency that endangers their life. Prior to the release of an offender, CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services makes notification to registered victims and provides referrals to community-based mental health and wellness resources.”

More from The Daily Wire:

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is in the process of releasing thousands of inmates to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among prison populations. The CDCR has outlined criteria that allow an inmate to be eligible for early release.

As The Daily Wire reported:

The CDCR will release prisoners in three stages. The state will begin releasing prisoners with 180 days or fewer left on their sentences who have not been convicted of a violent crime or are registered or required to register as a sex offender.

In the second stage, inmates age 30 and older with less than a year left on their sentences will be eligible for release if they are being held in one of eight prisons with “large populations of high-risk patients.” For the third stage, prisoners deemed at high risk of the coronavirus will be released as long as they are not convicted of a violent crime, required to register as a sex offender, or serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

— Advertisement —

“This is serious stuff and requires a seriousness of purpose. People are just saying just release thousands and thousands of people,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said at the time the initiative was announced. “Each and every one of these cases are sobering, challenging, and there’s a deep responsibility that comes with this job, but a sense of deep urgency as well to decompress the system in a judicious and thoughtful way.”