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Ruskin Man Charged with DUI Manslaughter in Connection with Crash That Killed Child

A Ru640px-Sunset_over_Cockroach_Bay.jpgskin man is facing charges after police say he initiated a crash while inebriated that killed a three-year-old child only weeks after completing probation for a previous DUI conviction.

John L. Rutland, Jr. was arrested on the evening of February 1 at the scene of a crash between his 2001 Toyota Camry and a 2002 Chevrolet SUV at the intersection of State Road 674 and 27th Street SE. Troopers of the Florida Highway Patrol say that the 37-year-old Rutland was traveling south on 27th Street crossing SR 674 when it struck the driver's side of the SUV piloted by Marbella Valencia-Bustos, aged 20. Passengers of the vehicle were Guadalupe Bustos-Benitez, 30; Loylo Mirella Valencia, 10; Adrian Rivera, 1; Valeria Rivera, age unknown; Jonathan Bustos, 4; and Jacob Bustos, 3. All the occupants are from Wimauma.

Troopers say the crash, which occurred just before eight o'clock that evening, inflicted minor injuries upon three of the children, seriously injured two other children, and mortally injured one child. The two adults were uninjured, they say. The entire group was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where the death of three-year-old Jacob Bustos occurred.

Rutland and the two occupants of his vehicle, his two children, escaped injury. According to authorities, the blood-alcohol content at the time he was tested registered between 0.125% and 0.128%, above the legal limit in Florida of 0.08%. He is currently being held without bond in the Hillsborough County Jail on one count of DUI Manslaughter, two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury, four counts of DUI with property damage or personal injury, and one count of driving under the influence.

Rutland completed probation for a DUI conviction on December 29 after being arrested in December 2015.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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