HONOLULU (KHON2) — According to newly-released court documents, Juan Baron, who was arrested in California in connection to the murder of 73-year-old Gary Ruby in his Hawaii Loa Ridge home, admitted to Los Angeles police detectives that he committed the murder, and tried to cover it up.
Baron is charged with one count of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree theft, and one count of first-degree identity theft. Extradition is pending.
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Court documents said Baron told investigators that Ruby said he was HIV positive which made Baron angry.
While “Gary was choking on his food… Baron reacted by placing a belt around Gary’s neck and tightening the belt until Gary lost consciousness.”
Records also said that Baron then “dragged Gary to the bathtub and used a kitchen knife to slit Gary’s wrists in an effort to stage a suicide.”
According to court documents, Baron discovered bags of concrete in the garage so he filled the bathtub with it. He then went to Lowe’s and bought more concrete and filled the bathtub, completely covering the body.
Investigators in Hazmat suits were still taking apart the concrete on Thursday as they preserved the evidence.
Court documents stated that “Baron admitted that he planned on fraudulently acquiring Gary’s home,” as well as his car, a 2020 Audi. He told investigators that he went to the Department of Motor Vehicles, forged the ownership papers for the Audi and was able to get the title.
Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm released a statement that stated:
“If Baron is proven to have known that the victim was sixty years of age or older at the time of the alleged murder, he would be eligible for an extended sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.”
Legal experts said proving it could come from statements Baron has made or any other outside evidence.
“If it’s shown that the suspect was able to see Mr. Ruby’s drivers license and actually looked at it, that would be evidence that could be shown to a judge or jury,” said attorney Doug Chin.
Chin added that even with a confession, it’s still possible for Baron to plead not guilty when he’s brought to trial.
“The reason why is the lawyer would want to make sure that the confession matches the rest of the evidence,” said Chin.
Baron remains in custody and will be returned to Hawaii after his extradition hearing.
Baron was arrested in Anaheim, California, by LAPD and U.S. Marshals. HPD reported another man who was arrested in connection to the murder was released after it was determined that he was not involved.
Below is the timeline of events revealed in court documents:
MONDAY, MARCH 7: Police do welfare check on Gary
On March 7 at around 10:46 a.m., Honolulu police officers received a call from the victim’s brother to do a welfare check on Gary whom he hadn’t heard from in three weeks.
According to police, Gary last contacted his brother via email about meeting a new love interest by the name of Juan whom he described as significantly younger than him. Gary was 73. Juan is 23.
At around 11 a.m., a police officer and security guard arrived at the residence, which is located within the gated community of Hawaii Loa Ridge and is valued over $1 million, according to the City.
When they arrived, another man was exiting the front door. The officer asked the man if he knew Gary to which he responded that his friend — later identified as Baron — inside the home may know him. A short time later, Baron exited the residence and said that he bought the home from Gary about five years ago.
The security guard corrected him that Gary just bought the property in 2020. According to court documents, Baron then changed his story to say that he bought the home two years ago and had the deed for it. The security guard told Baron and his friend to register with the main office to show proof.
The two men then left the property in a gold 2020 Audi A6, court documents said. After checking the license plate, officers found that the vehicle was registered to Baron. Later checks revealed that the vehicle was transferred from Gary’s name to Baron’s name on Feb. 7, 2022.
According to court documents, the officer then met with the operations manager of the Hawaii Loa Ridge community who said that Baron arrived at the main office to register as the new owner of the residence. Baron allegedly emailed him the deed and filled out the registration forms. That email came from Gary’s documented email address, which contained the deed paperwork with no notary nor signature on it.
The operations manager added that when Baron tried to register, he provided the name of Yenisel Guerra as also being an owner of the residence. After checking the phone number Baron provided, it was revealed that it belonged to the 24 Hour Fitness in Hawaii Kai. Police later confirmed Baron was never employed there.
TUESDAY, MARCH 8: Police find bathtub filled with concrete and coffee grounds
On March 8, at around 1 p.m., the medical examiner chief investigator, forensic anthropologist and evidence specialist entered the home after police said a bathtub in the master bathroom was filled with a concrete-plaster substance with a layer of coffee grounds on the surface.
Through the excavation process, they discovered that there were two layers of coffee grounds. Several insects were discovered and later taken for analysis.
After removing the cement substance, Gary’s body was discovered at the bottom of the bathtub. The manner of death was determined to be a homicide.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9: Baron is arrested in Los Angeles
On March 9, U.S. Marshals and the Los Angeles Police arrested Baron on a Greyhound bus in Anaheim, California, that was bound for Mexico. Baron was found hiding in a crawl space under an enclosed bench at the rear of the bus. After he was detained, Baron waived his constitutional right to remain silent.
Then he talked.
Court documents detailed how Baron admitted to the detectives how he gave the Honolulu police false statements. He told the LA detectives that he was dating Gary. According to the interview, Baron said he became angry after Gary admitted to being HIV positive.
Court documents revealed the following:
“Baron stated that soon after, he noticed Gary choked on food, and Baron reacted by placing a belt around Gary’s neck and tightening the belt until Gary lost consciousness. Baron then dragged Gary to the bathtub and used a kitchen knife to slit Gary’s wrists in an effort to stage a suicide.”
Baron told detectives that he found bags of concrete in Gary’s garage and filled the bathtub with concrete to cover him. He then drove to Lowe’s to buy four more bags of concrete to fill the tub. As an effort to conceal the smell of decomposition, Baron said he used coffee grounds to cover the cement.
Court documents said that at the end of the interview, Baron admitted that he planned on fraudulently acquiring Gary’s home and 2020 Audi. He further admitted that he went to the Department of Motor Vehicles, forged the Audi ownership papers and fraudulently obtained a title to the 2020 Audi.