Mar 28, 2008

Driver convicted in good Samaritan killing, sentenced to life in prison

Jason Auslander | The New Mexican

TIERRA AMARILLA — A Hernández man accused of running down a good Samaritan nearly a year ago was sentenced to life plus 12 1/2 years in prison after a jury convicted him Thursday of first-degree murder and other charges.

Christopher Branch, 24, showed no reaction as the jury foreman read the verdicts, though his mother and one of his young cousins, seated in the front row, began sobbing. Araceli Rutkowski, widow of 44-year-old Michael Rutkowski, also began crying and shaking after the verdict was read as she huddled with Rutkowski's mother, sister and another friend.

"We consider it a win," John Hollabaugh, Rutkowski's boss at a Los Alamos National Laboratory contractor and spokesman for the family, said afterward. "I think justice is served."

[Read the full story here.]

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMAZING! We seldom see this kind
of justice in Rio Ariba County.

This guy needs to be locked up
forever!

Anonymous said...

Life + 12 years. He will be.

Anonymous said...

This and the Pat Trujillo story is chilling.

Anonymous said...

I do not think justice was done. This piece of trash lives (on taxpayer money) while a good and positive contributor to society died a pointless death.

One factor that might make this more tolerable is that if he is such the pussy as his defense argued he will be constantly sodimized, and orally raped.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Rutkowski stopped a murder in progress. He was successful. Maybe it would help to focus on that instead.

Anonymous said...

Pinky- ummm 3:38 is sick. Do we really need to keep comments like that? It adds nothing to this blog

Anonymous said...

3/28/08 6:23 PM

So, I am sick? You, obviously, have lived in Glenn Gables and never been a victim of a crime.

Me personally, I am tired of these wastes of skin comiiting these acts that have devastating results for the victims, and then getting some minor sentence greatly reduced by parole.

The last time I was a victim was several weeks ago, and as far as I'm concerned I'm tired of these worthless pieces of shit taking from those that work for it. What is your solution?

Anonymous said...

Pinky, he did not in fact stop a murder in progress, he only became the victim of a murder.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Depending on how you look at things, you might say he stopped two murders in progress. Rutkowski was not "only" a victim. He did the right thing. Please choose your words carefully.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of pieces of trash, what's the story behind Pat Trujillo?

Anonymous said...

Lets see how LANS handles the Pat Trujillo scandal. "Group Leader at LANL charged with sexual molestation of minors."

Anonymous said...

Great story. What's it doing on this blog?? "LANL The Rest of the Story"?? Just more fodder for the "hate northern NM" folks? What's the agenda here? How am I learning more about LANL's story?

Anonymous said...

3/28/08 6:58 PM

Pinky, very true. He died a hero, a true commodity shortage in this world.

3/28/08 11:32 PM

I do not think there is any racial bias, just people are tired of the trash and the substandard values regardless of race. I think the reaction here is to the senseless violence that occured here, and that seems to be common place.

Let's leave race out of this, and instead focus on what can be done to help those with problems and make it safer for those who work hard for what they have. Or is that too difficult?


3/28/08 3:38 PM

I agree wishing for rape and oral sodomy for this guy is inviting. It used to be that people would think we are better than them and should rise above it (3/28/08 11:32 PM - I mean criminals w/o any regard to race)but at some point we have to realize that what the current situations is is not acceptable, and is not a deterrant. So what is next?

Anonymous said...

Variety is the spice of life, 11:32 PM.

Pinky and The Brain said...

Thanks 11:50. I can always count on one of our readers to chime in with some common sense when it's really needed.

Anonymous said...

6:47 You my friend need some help with your anger, I hope you do not posses a Q Cleareance, because the type of rage you have could lead you to some very serious trouble. The lab and the community have programs to aid you, if you so choose. (Hpoe life gets better for you)

Anonymous said...

3/28/08 4:42 AM: "AMAZING! We seldom see this kind
of justice in Rio Ariba County."

This is a filthy racist comment to be making. It's a bald faced lie to boot. You see horrible jury decisions everywhere you look across the country. But once again people like you show your true colors. It's always about race with people like you, isn't it? A Rio Arriba jury couldn't possibly render justice in your mind, could they? Hell no, they're just a bunch of Hispanics after all. You are a pathetic individual. You're sure not much better than the scum in this case that got what he deserved. What's AMAZING is that the rest of idiots posting here didn't find such a blatant racist comment offensive. Not suprising though.

Pinky and The Brain said...

He didn't mention the jury. Maybe he means the criminals too seldom face a jury because they are never caught.

Anonymous said...

I too agree that blanket insinuations about groups and communities is plain wrong. As for the Pat Trujillo matter, what he's accused of isn't really relevant to his role at the Lab. But yet we have the Director's own chief of staff--Richard Marquez, who has a long history of sexually harassing women in the workplace. Worse yet, for the longest time he was in charge of all employee complaint resolution processes at the Laboratory. What this means is that women who were suffering sexual harassment in the workplace had to rely on this individual to provide them a fair hearing of their concerns. Where was the outrage then? Pat Trujillo is no doubt an embarassment to himself and his family. Marquez on the other hand is an embarassment to the Lab and those of us who work at the Lab who believe all individuals have the right to work in a place that does not condone employee abuse, including sexual harassment. So please, keep this Pat Trujillo issue in proper perspective. Instead we need to question the judgement of a LANS leadership team that sees nothing wrong with harboring individuals with such dubious backgrounds as that of Mr. Marquez. And again, leave race out of it. Before Marquez there was the other infamous (non minority) who was known for flashing women in his office. Fortunately he's now gone.

Anonymous said...

9:58 am: "It's always about race with people like you, isn't it?"

You read a comment about Rio Arriba County and assume it's racially motivated. Who's the racist here?

Anonymous said...

"However, no one should have their reputation ruined by anonymous rumors. This is a small region, so rumors are especially harmful."

Exactly.

Now, ask around and see how many LANL staff have suffered exactly that at the hands of Patrick Trujillo and Staff Relations.

What goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

Look upon the pictures that adorn the walls of Q-Cleared P. Trujillo. Most of the fair faces on that wall could blackmail P. Trujillo. Good thing he doesn't know any real intel, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi 3:32 and 8:27 - could you give some examples? This sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

10:25 PM
Um, Go visit his office?

Anonymous said...

Can someone who has access to the newspaper stories on the Trujillo story please post them for for all to read?

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I am the originator of the comment under the Blogfather thread at 3/29/08 11:32 AM.

Another individual lifted my comment from that thread and reposted it here on 3/29/08 3:32 PM.

Which, frankly, is more than a little creepy.

Anonymous said...

Just ask around any HR office or any employees employees who have ever filed a "Complaint Resolution" you will be amazed at what kind of stuff he has pulled at the lab. He was the "office boy" for the infamous Joe Salgado.
His picture is on the front page of the March 26th edition of the Rio Grande Sun. He is charged with Sexual Crimes involving minors. How about that for a LANL manager!

Anonymous said...

Re: J Pat Trujillo. These are not anonymous rumors, they are in fact stated charges against him by the Espanola Police Dept. He his accused of Sexaul Misconduct involving Minors. This is indeed sad that a Manager at LANL, (he is the Group Leader of HR Employee Relations). There are currently two alleged victims, and more to come. (Pick up a copy of the Rio Grande Sun on Wed.)

Anonymous said...

3/29/08 7:12 AM

Do you suggest represing the rage, and violation of ones personaly sanctity? I would think it would be considered heathly to vent and release.

Why should this affect the Q clearance? Are people not allowed to be human? If it should affect the Q clearance then it is indeed time to close the city again and require all Q cleared workers to reside in Los Alamos. Then LAPD and the secuirty force could work together to enforce curfews and make sure no crime is committed. Is this what you had in mind?

Others?

Anonymous said...

""As for the Pat Trujillo matter, what he's accused of isn't really relevant to his role at the Lab.""


Hmmmm....group leader for HR Employee Relations.....molesting children....I do see a how the charges relate his job. Were you joking when you made that comment?

Anonymous said...

1:59 pm: "Why should this affect the Q clearance?"

You've got to be kidding. Hell, a traffic ticket over $250 can affect your Q clearance. Clearance holders are supposed to be solid, law-abiding citizens. Also, activities and behaviors that could make you subject to blackmail (i.e., "steal those secrets or I'll tell everyone you use drugs") can lose you your clearance in a hurry. Otherwise, why do a background check at all?

Anonymous said...

Clearance reinvestigations include forms advising that clearances can be yanked in response to activities that show a lack of good judgement. And loss of clearance can lead to loss of employment.

Group leader for HR Employee Relations involved in sexual misconduct with minors seems like a cut-and-dry case of poor judgement. It's also criminal behavior. And Lab employees may be imperfect and human, but they may not be criminals.

Anonymous said...

To 10:47 Child Molestation is a crime. It is outlawed in our society. People go to prison for this crime, what part of this don't you understand?

Anonymous said...

1:59 pm: "Why should this affect the Q clearance?"

You've got to be kidding. Hell, a traffic ticket over $250 can affect your Q clearance. Clearance holders are supposed to be solid, law-abiding citizens. Also, activities and behaviors that could make you subject to blackmail (i.e., "steal those secrets or I'll tell everyone you use drugs") can lose you your clearance in a hurry. Otherwise, why do a background check at all?

3/30/08 3:23 PM


Yes, but the comment was directed at the person that was angry they had been robbed. The question was that if they are angry about that they should lose their Q.

Anonymous said...

Remember innocent until proven guilty?

Anonymous said...

Yes, if DOE maintains that you have an anger management issue, they can certianly revoke your clearance, until you or they resolve the issue. Mood swings, anger, anti-social behavior's that affect the individual or others can be reason for terimination of your clearance. It's up to DOE to determine the final outcome.

Anonymous said...

3/30/08 5:18 PM wrote "Remember innocent until proven guilty?"

You haven't worked at LANL very long have you? At LANL you are presumed guilty until you hire a lawyer and incure a $100K debt to prove you are innocent. It is easy for the LANL management to pick a person (usually the PI or team lead or group leader) to be the fall guy to give DOE a guilty party for corrective actions....

Anonymous said...

I remember the false accusations against Lillian Anaya for the mustang/purchase card story that went national, which resulted in her winning a large settlement against UC and CBS. She was a victim of identify theft. During the investigation, she was placed on leave, lost her clearance, and was villified by senior managers at the Lab, including Pat Trujillo. She was never treated as innocent until proven guilty by Pat Trujillo and the Lab so why should he. The crimes he is accused of ARE CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN, not the alleged misuse of a purchase card. He should lose his Q clearance during the investigation, just like Lillian did. Lillian and others who have gone through the employee relations trauma at the hands of Patrick Trujillo and have incurred huge legal bills can feel a sense of vindication. Imagine the relief the CHILDREN HE MOLESTED feel that he will no longer harm them.

Anonymous said...

3/30/08 8:21 PM wrote "You haven't worked at LANL very long have you? At LANL you are presumed guilty until you hire a lawyer and incure a $100K debt to prove you are innocent. It is easy for the LANL management to pick a person (usually the PI or team lead or group leader) to be the fall guy to give DOE a guilty party for corrective actions...."

My comment should not be interpreted based upon how long I have or have not worked at LANL. Unfortunately private businesses do not operate the same way our justice system works. My only point was that again comments to a post, instead of being informational, are ugly and nasty, especially when made about someone who has been accused but not convicted of a crime. Innocent until proven guilty applies to all crime, no matter how horrible. We have the best justice system in the entire world. We do not have a vengance system.

I believe the main reason for the nasty comments are not because the folks who comment are nasty people but are frustrated, angry, and unable to extricate themselves from a situation they had no responsibility for creating.

Posting ugly comments to vent is better than hitting your spouse and kids. However, a better solution would be to bite the bullet and find a job somewhere else. The financial cost is not going to hurt you as much as the anger you feel toward LANL, LANS, DOE, etc.

BTW, I spent 37 years of my life at LANL, I know what was good about it, and what was not. So don't be so quick to get your excercise jumping to conclusions.

Anonymous said...

This guy has a history of abusing both chrildren and employees. This investagation will bring out the kind of managers LANL supports.
J Pat Trujillo has ruined many peoples careers at LANL during the 90's. The Grand Jury will hear the case on April2, 2008. If found guilty he should be registered as a sex offender and have his picture plastered all over the State.

Pinky and The Brain said...

I'm thinking the most important thing is for the grand jury to indict (or not) first, though I don't think that is an excuse for LANS to continue to remain silent. Could they at least acknowledge they are aware of the situation and prepared to act at the appropriate time?

Anonymous said...

Is J Pat Trujillo still showing up for work, or has he been put on "investagative" leave ..like he put so many other employees during his regin? Where is Kevin R, he seems to be willing to talk lately?
This will be very intreasting to watch: How will LANS handle this one?

Anonymous said...

LANL needs to handle this as it would any other criminal investigation. Innocent until proven guilty, maybe on paid admin leave, if the grand jury returns an indictment on unpaid leave.

Anonymous said...

Like any other investagation??? You mean like the Mitchell Affair. Ha you must be Kevin R...

Anonymous said...

From 3/31/08 4:22 PM - "LANL needs to handle this as it would any other criminal investigation. Innocent until proven guilty ..."

What crack are you smoking? The LANL way is guilty until proven innnocent, put the bastard on investigatory leave, ostracize the person, and ruin his career. That is the LANL way and was initiated by folks like Pat and Legal. He should be treated no differently than the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Patrick Trujillo is not the group leader of Staff Relations. He used to be many years ago before he left the group. He returned about four years ago as a regular employee, not management. Not that it matters much.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much Burson-Marsteller's price went up when they found out about the child molestation charges.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't the blog posted the newspaper stories about Trujillo yet? This should be a top post all things considered.

Pinky and The Brain said...

I was unsure at first if I should wait until after the grand jury indictments. Since I've waited several days already I think I'll just wait two more.

The original story is available at Rio Grande Sun, and also in the comments on an earlier post. Don't worry, I'm not going to ignore this.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree a manager at LANL charged with Child Molestation is a very big story indeed. It has feet. After Wed. this story may be picked up by the National News Media. Not a peep out of LANS?

Anonymous said...

LANL management has a long history of hiring crooked local politicos and their relatives to buy good will from the local communities. Given this sordid history, don't expect them to say anything at all about this case. Even if the Grand Jury indicts Trujillo on April 2nd all you'll hear from LANS PR is "no comment".

Anonymous said...

So does anyone know what the outcome of Pat Trujillo's grand jury hearing was today?

Pinky and The Brain said...

I don't know and I have looked for it. If anyone has the news please send it in.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about this the more I think a public hanging is in order. Did anyone hear about the fifth graders, yes FIFTH GRADERS, who were arrested for trying to kill a teacher.

When is enough, enough?

Anonymous said...

or are the productive always going to cow to the bullY

Anonymous said...

4/2 10:28 pm: "Did anyone hear about the fifth graders, yes FIFTH GRADERS, who were arrested for trying to kill a teacher.

When is enough, enough?"

When parents step up and take responsibility for the acts of their minor kids. I mean, go to jail if the kid commits a crime. I mean, lose use of a car (or soeting else valuable) if the kid is out of school without a valid excuse. I mean, be forced to stop funding or supporting any kid who drops out. Parents need to recognize they have a responsibility to society: 1) don't have a kid if you can't support it financially until independent (no later than 21), and 2) don't have a kid if you can't bring it up to be a functioning member of society. Simple - stop perpetuating the cycle of poverty and violence: stop having kids! You aren't qualified!