December 5, 2023
Martin Andara. Picture credit score: Display screen shot,

A person who killed one other man by pushing him into the facet of a shifting practice on the Outdated City Transit Heart was sentenced Thursday to fifteen years to life in state jail.

Ryan Michael Rukstelis, 27, pleaded responsible to second-degree homicide for the New Yr’s Day 2022 dying of Santee resident Martin Andara, 68, who was heading to work on the time.

In response to testimony from Rukstelis’ preliminary listening to held final 12 months, each males had been passengers aboard a trolley that stopped on the Outdated City station.

The lads had been in the identical trolley automobile for about half-hour, however didn’t work together with each other through the journey. Surveillance footage performed in court docket confirmed that after the trolley stopped on the station round 6:15 a.m., each males exited.

Within the video, Rukstelis is seen strolling forward of Andara, then he abruptly turns and punches the sufferer, then pushes him into the facet of the shifting practice. Andara’s physique was found by a safety guard.

At his sentencing listening to, Rukstelis mentioned, “I apologize for what I did. It was cowardly and I apologize for the grief that I’ve brought on.”

Andara Martin labored at a Ralphs retailer in Pacific Seashore and was a member of UFCW Native 135 for six yearsThe sufferer’s son, Adam Andara, was amongst a number of relations who addressed Rukstelis at Thursday’s listening to.

“You murdered and took a person that was the rock on this household,” Adam Andara informed Rukstelis. “What you probably did has created a deep scar on this household. This isn’t the kind of ending the place there’s forgiveness. I don’t forgive you.”

Deputy District Legal professional Scott Pirrello mentioned, “This case represents everybody’s worst nightmare. Mindless, unprovoked violence that would have occurred to anybody on this courtroom.”

By analyzing surveillance footage at varied practice stations all through the county, police had been in a position to decide that Rukstelis was at a trolley station in Mission Valley simply after 2:30 a.m. Jan. 1. There, police say video captured him making an attempt to take away the damaged entrance panel of a soda machine.

San Diego police Detective Steven Choy mentioned fingerprints had been lifted from the within of the soda machine panel. Seven of the 24 impressions discovered there matched Rukstelis, the detective testified.

Choy mentioned images of Rukstelis from a legislation enforcement database had been then in comparison with surveillance footage of the suspect.

Investigators arrested Rukstelis at his mom’s office three days after Andara’s dying.

Rukstelis had a backpack with him on the time of his arrest and inside it had been a pair of pants and a shirt that Choy mentioned appeared equivalent to the suspect’s clothes. Rukstelis’ DNA was additionally found on the sufferer’s jacket, in accordance with the detective.

– Metropolis Information Service