Crime

Alleged home invader pleads not guilty Thursday

The suspect accused of shooting at, but not injuring, a 37-year-old woman Feb. 22 at her Valley Road home pleaded not guilty Thursday in Recorder's Court. Antonio Ruiz, 34, faced two counts of aggravated assault and one count of first-degree home invasion during the 9 a.m. hearing continued from Saturday. He was ordered to be held in the Muscogee County Jail under a $50,000 bond for each of his charges.

Located on the 4000 block of Valley Road, the home Ruiz allegedly invaded between 1 p.m. and 1:46 p.m. belonged to a 37-year-old woman and her 35-year-old boyfriend and was unlocked and opened at the time of the reported crime, records show.

An officer testified Wednesday that Ruiz used a rifle-styled weapon to fired shots at the woman from a vehicle outside of her home and continued shooting toward her as he entered the Valley Road dwelling. The woman was the only one in the residence at the time, police said.

The woman locked herself in her bathroom to escape the alleged offender, a man who was a guest in her home multiples times before the offense, police said Thursday.

The officer told the court that her boyfriend noticed the incident from outside of the residence, and his life was also threatened when Ruiz reportedly aimed the weapon toward him. Though, he did not shoot at the 35-year-old victim, reports show.

Bullet holes were found inside of the home and shell casings were discovered on the couple's front porch and inside of the residence. At least nine shell casings were found, an officer said.

Represented by public defender Charles Lykins, Ruiz did not testify during the morning hearing.

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