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Former Suspect In Saunders Murder Files Lawsuit Against Bethany Police

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On Friday, February 21, 2014, News 9 learned that Ruiz has filed a lawsuit against Bethany police. On Friday, February 21, 2014, News 9 learned that Ruiz has filed a lawsuit against Bethany police.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A man previously charged with the gruesome murder of Carina Saunders is now suing the police department that put him behind bars for six months.

Saunders' dismembered body was found behind a Bethany grocery store in October, 2011. In July, 2012, Bethany police arrested Luis Ruiz on first-degree murder charges in Saunders' death.

7/23/2012 Related Story: Two Accused Killers Charged With Murder Of Carina Saunders

In the probable cause affidavit filed against Ruiz, investigators suggest a woman, who referred to herself as Ruiz's girlfriend at the time of the murder, says she witnessed the torture and killing of Saunders. The woman is quoted saying, before the murder she would "babysit" a girl named Carina Saunders and that Ruiz said Saunders would be "dealt with." The court document shows Ruiz admitted to an acquaintance he killed Carina Saunders.

However, after six months in jail for the murder of Saunders, in February, 2013, prosecutors dismissed the murder charges against Luis Ruiz and another suspect in the case, Jimmy Massey. Ruiz was released from the jail.

2/25/2013 Related Story: Murder Charges Dismissed Against Suspects In Case Of Dismembered Bethany Woman

News 9 first reported a year ago that evidence didn't support the claims that Ruiz or his co-defendant Jimmy Massey were involved in Saunders' murder.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was asked to investigate the case. Two Bethany detectives who investigated the case, Lt. Austin Warfield and Captain Jack Jencks, were let go.

Jencks was let go after evidence was found missing from Bethany's property room, developments that are concerning to Carina Saunders parents and the community. He was charged with 10 counts of larceny of a controlled dangerous substance.

2/6/2014 Related Story: Detective In Carina Saunders Case Facing Criminal Charges

The decision to fire Warfield comes just four months after the firing of Jencks. City officials did not explain what resulted in the termination of the detective.

1/30/2014 Related Story: Detective Connected To Carina Saunders Murder Let Go

On Friday, February 21, 2014, News 9 learned that Ruiz has filed a lawsuit against Bethany police.

Luis Ruiz's suit names the city of Bethany, its police chief, and the two detectives who first handled the case for failing to uphold the law. Ruiz's lawsuit alleges police reports contained false information about the case and coerced a confession from Massey.

Ruiz's attorney Derek Chance says they're filing the suit because police, "wasted critical time manipulating the investigation, instead of following the evidence to the actual perpetrators."

Ruiz is requesting compensation for lost wages and punitive damages.

Ruiz's attorney released the following statement,

"The actions taken by the Bethany police department in this case should be troubling to all citizens. This suit is not intended to minimize the atrocity of the homicide victim, but to hold law enforcement to a standard of due process and fair play. To simply manipulate people and evidence in an effort to calm a community that is justifiably concerned with an atrocious crime is not proper. This investigation was littered with errors, omissions and bad acts of the Bethany Police Department, as learned by the OSBI, Mr. Prater when the charges were dismissed and Luis was released from custody. As bad as it has been on Luis and his family, it has been equally harmful to our community. Bethany Police Department wasted critical time manipulating the investigation, instead of following the evidence to the actual perpetrators of this crime. Their acts and omissions may very well result in this horrific crime going unsolved, that is inexcusable and not fair to this community and the Saunders family."

The city of Bethany says it does not comment on pending lawsuits and has received no information about the lawsuit.

News 9 Reporter Lisa Monahan will have more on this story on News 9 at 6 p.m.

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