A man who fatally stabbed the daughter of a couple he worked with at a downtown Los Angeles garment factory in 2016 has been sentenced to 37 years to life in prison, officials said Wednesday.
In September, a jury found 37-year-old Ricardo Augusto Utuy guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Utuy stabbed 3-year-old Ruby Vasquez on Oct. 31, 2016 at the factory where her parents worked, officials said. The couple had brought their daughter to work in the 800 block of McGarry Street, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
“When the girl went to give her father a cookie, the mother saw Utuy running toward the 3-year-old,” prosecutors said in an earlier statement. “The defendant then stabbed the girl multiple times with a knife.”
Los Angeles police previously said that Ruby’s father had just dropped off the victim when, without provocation, Utuy attacked her as she was running to her mother just after 5:15 p.m.
Ruby was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Utuy had only been employed at the factory for about two weeks and had minimal contact with the victim’s mother, officials have said. He fled after the stabbing but turned himself in the next morning.
Less than eight months before that attack, Utuy stabbed a woman at another downtown L.A. factory where he worked at the time, authorities said. That victim survived her injuries. Utuy fled, and he later found a job at the factory where Ruby’s parents worked.
The first victim recognized Utuy when the media reported Ruby’s death and contacted authorities, according to police.