Family of Murdered Silver Spring Man is ‘Constantly Sad’

The family of 20-year-old Jose Ruiz is not satisfied with the 30-year prison sentence that the man who stabbed their love one to death received Thursday. “Nothing is going to bring him back. We are not satisfied, but we at least somehow have found comfort in this closure period,” said his brother, Julio Ruiz.

“We are constantly sad. We constantly remember him. We go to the cemetery every other week, and we cry,” said Julio Ruiz.

Here is what he told MyMCM.

Denzel Kasaka, 24, of Silver Spring was found guilty in October of 2021 of second degree murder for stabbing Ruiz in the heart and causing his death. According to court reports, Kasaka used Instagram to stalk and threaten both his former girlfriend and Ruiz, eventually locating them in a parking lot where the two males began a fist fight. Kasaka got a knife from his car and stabbed Ruiz, according to assistant state’s attorneys for Montgomery County.

“He was a hard working young man,” who postponed his chance to go to college to remain at home with his mother, Betty Ruiz, as she recovered from a serious illness, said Julio Ruiz about his brother, Jose Ruiz, who attended Paint Branch High School and finished high school at FreeState Challenge Academy in Edgewood.

He hoped one day to join the Army. Ruiz played football and loved to draw, his mother said.

According to court documents, Ruiz and Kasaka’s former girlfriend, Lucya Ramirez, spent the day of the fight together. During the day, Kasaka sent several text messages to both of them through Instagram. That evening, they pulled into Ruiz’ townhouse on Avonshire Drive in Silver Spring. Ramirez noticed Kasaka was in the neighborhood and “believed he had followed them back to Ruiz’ house,” according to court documents.

Kasaka then circled the block once in his Audi, stopping right in front of Ramirez and Ruiz’ vehicle. He then got out of his car and approached the two. The men began fighting “hitting and punching each other while Ramirez was screaming and attempting to keep them apart,” according to court records.

Ruiz then broke the back window of Kasaka’s car, and Kasaka ran back to it and drove away before stopping and then exiting the car with a knife, according to court records. He stabbed Ruiz twice in the abdomen area. “One wound was directly to the heart. He was bleeding profusely,” according to court records.

Both Jose Ruiz’s mother and brother believe they might have been able to stop his murder had they known he was having problems and was being stalked.

Betty Ruiz urged all parents “to stay on top” of what their children are doing and who they hanging out with and make sure everyone knows that people can be tracked and stalked on social media.

“Unfortunately now it is too late” for her family, she said. “We need to make sure it never happens again” to another family, Julio Ruiz added.

Julio Ruiz said it was very difficult sitting in the courtroom during sentencing and hearing Kasaka’s attorney describe the man who stabbed his brother to death as “a good church going kid.” When it was Julio Ruiz’s chance to speak in the courtroom, he said he “was able to look into Kasaka’s eyes” and said, “I hope he prayed everyday and he uses the opportunity to rehabilitate but we still wanted him to have the sentence that he deserved for murdering my brother.

State’s Attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy noted that his office has been testifying in the Maryland General Assembly in support of two bills that would broaden the definition of stalking to include electronic devices.

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