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First-degree murder charges were dismissed in the slaying of a Mustang High School graduate.
Luis Enrique Ruiz, 38, was released Monday from the Oklahoma County Jail, while Jimmy Lee Massey Jr., 34, remained jailed there. He was being held on a drug-related charge. Both men had faced a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Carina Saunders, 19, in October 2011. The charges were dismissed on Friday. The motion was made to dismiss without prejudice to a refiling as the state continued its investigation.
Earlier this month, Bethany police requested Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation open a full investigation into Saunders’ death. OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said investigators are gathering the extensive case files from several law enforcement agencies. She said the investigation will take time.
Calls to David Prater, Oklahoma County district attorney, were not returned before press time.
Police have stated in a probable cause affidavit they believe Saunders suffered the injuries that led to her death on Oct. 11, 2011, at an Oklahoma City home. She was identified as a homicide victim on Oct. 17, 2011. Bethany police reported her dismembered body was found on Oct. 13, 2011, in a bag near NW 23rd Street and Rockwell Avenue.
Saunders graduated from Mustang High School in 2010.
Massey has remained in the Oklahoma County Jail since he was arrested on Nov. 4, 2011, on a drug distribution complaint. He still faces felony counts of trafficking in illegal drugs, methamphetamine, while using a motor vehicle and conspiracy to traffic a controlled dangerous substance. He also faces three felony counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, methamphetamine. The charges were filed on Nov. 23, 2011, and his bail was previously $100,000 in those cases.
Bethany police arrested Ruiz on July 5 in connection with the Saunders’ investigation.