LARNED — A Topeka man who entered a plea of “guilty” to attempted first-degree murder earlier this year returned to Pawnee County District Court on Monday for sentencing. Anthony Ruiz-Hernandez, 22, was sentenced to 51 years and eight months in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett said Ruiz-Hernandez entered a guilty plea on Feb. 20. In exchange for his plea, the state dismissed two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery.
The charge stems from two patient-on-patient attacks on October 22, 2018, at the Isaac Ray Building on the campus of Larned State Hospital (LSH). Two patients sustained great bodily harm requiring transport to outside medical facilities. One of the patients’ injuries were life-threatening at the time due to severe head trauma. All individuals involved were at LSH at the time for forensic evaluations related to criminal charges in another county.
Ruiz-Hernandez told investigators the attacks were done in part to gain standing in a prison gang.
Following statements by counsel, District Judge Bruce Gatterman sentenced Ruiz-Hernandez to the standard sentence of 620 months, based on his criminal history. Gatterman further ordered the defendant to register for a period of 15 years as violent offender following his release from custody. By law he can earn up to 15 percent good-time credit toward his sentence.
Ruiz-Hernandez is currently being housed in the Shawnee County Adult Detention Center awaiting sentencing on four counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement with a deadly weapon.
Co-defendant Andres Gustavo Barrientos, 24, of Leavenworth, plead not guilty on March 14. He is being housed in the Leavenworth County Jail on local charges.