Nevada Casino Murderer, Sentenced to Life in Prison, Gets Parole

Posted on: May 17, 2022, 10:26h. 

Last updated on: May 17, 2022, 10:31h.

A man who plead guilty to first-degree murder after a fatal shooting at an Elko County, Nevada gaming property is to be set free. He had been sentenced to life in prison.

Nevada's High Desert State Prison
Nevada’s High Desert State Prison, pictured above. A current inmate was granted parole. He originally was sentenced to life in prison following a casino murder. (Image: Wikipedia)

Ignacio Ruelas-Ramirez, 67, has served 20 years of his sentence since the September 2001 murder. He is currently an inmate at Indian Springs, Nevada’s High Desert State Prison.

The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners reviewed his request and decided in April to release him in November.

The board on its website says it “serves the public interest by making reasonable and responsible decisions regarding the release of offenders to community supervision.”

Sentenced By Judge Memeo

Elko District Judge Michael Memeo had sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years behind bars, the Elko Daily Free Press reported.

Memeo has retired as a judge. He had the nickname of “Maximum Mike” for his lengthy sentences.

Back in 2001, Ruelas-Ramirez was working as a janitor at the unnamed casino located in Jackpot. He allegedly repeatedly fired shots from a .38-caliber handgun at another casino employee in a parking lot. The victim, identified as Victor Castillo-Jara, died from the wounds.

Casino security guards and police were able to identify Ruelas-Ramirez as the suspect after reviewing surveillance video, the Free Press said. He was arrested less than an hour after the shooting.

It was not immediately known what led to the shooting.

Ruelas-Ramirez was from Mexico, the Free Press said. He was in the US on a visa that let him work.

Another Parole

In an unrelated decision, Eddie Tipton, the Iowa man who admitted to rigging the Multi-State Lottery, was paroled in January after serving four and a half years of a 25-year prison sentence.

The Iowa Board of Parole made the decision because there was “a reasonable probability” that Tipton was not a danger to the community or himself, the Iowa Capital Dispatch newspaper reported.

Tipton, the former head of security for the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), was imprisoned in August 2017 and ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution to state lotteries. That was after he pleaded guilty to one count each of theft and computer crime and admitted to fixing the lottery draw six times in six states.

Tipton was to be released to the state of Texas, where officials will supervise his parole. Failure to comply with any state local or federal laws could result in his return to prison.