Jailhouse Salsa

The Bandleader Didn't Commit the Murder, Affidavit Claims

During a cross-examination, Ruiz's court-appointed lawyer, Thomas Dunn, asked Alomar: "There was doubt when you were asked this morning to identify Harry Ruiz, wasn't there: yes or no?"

Alomar: "Yes."

Dunn: "In fact, you pointed out someone in the back of the courtroom; isn't that a fact?"

Harry Ruiz, inmate No. 95-A-2026, might get a chance to prove he's innocent
photo: Steven Sunshine
Harry Ruiz, inmate No. 95-A-2026, might get a chance to prove he's innocent

Alomar: "He looks like Harry."


In his interview with the Voice, Ruiz says that after all his failed appeals it may be impossible to convince anyone he is innocent. To keep his mind clear and emotions stable, he sticks to his Green Haven routine. Alma Libre practice every Monday, he has a $7-a-week job as a copy clerk, and every other week, his fiancée, Rivera, takes a bus upstate to visit. They don't talk about the crime or developments in his case, she says, but of marriage, family, and the promise of a new life. Because of prison restrictions, Ruiz has never taken a bite of one of Rivera's beef patties.

"I'm dying to taste them," he says. Ruiz is eligible for parole in 2025. Wedding plans are pending.

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