Court records reveal details surrounding the killing of UNLV student Paula Davis

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — 8 News Now obtained evidence presented to a grand jury in the indictment that accuses 21-year-old Giovanni Ruiz of killing his ex-girlfriend 19-year-old Paula Davis, a UNLV student.

Ruiz faces a charge of murder with a deadly weapon after Davis’ body was found by her father in the family’s van that had been parked near Desert Horizons Park on Simmons Street and Gowan Road. on Sept. 6.

Ruiz made a court appearance Thursday morning for an arraignment. The prosecution requested that it be postponed because they are seeking additional charges against Ruiz and the death penalty is being considered in this case. The Death Review Committee will review the case next week.

The 113-page grand jury transcript reveals evidence police obtained in their investigation. It also details how police say Ruiz allegedly “willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with malice aforethought” premeditated killing Davis with a firearm. According to the Clark County Coroner’s report, Davis died from two gunshot wounds to the back of the head.

Paula Davis, 19, was a UNLV student.

A total of six witnesses testified before the grand jury including Davis’ father, Sean Davis, as well as a close friend and a cousin.

Davis indicated to family members she felt “smothered” by Ruiz. Her cousin, James Miraglia, told police he helped her write a text to Ruiz permanently breaking off their 10-month relationship.

“I know you wanted us to have another talk in three weeks, but I’ve realized that this is just giving you false hope,” Davis wrote. “I know you’re hoping that I would start to like you again through your efforts as a friend, but I’d be lying if I kept telling you that this was a realistic possibility.”

Davis sent the text on the morning of Sept. 6. A homicide detective said, shortly after the text was sent, surveillance video showed Ruiz’s truck parked near Davis’s home. The video showed Davis leave her home in her van and pull up next to Ruiz’s truck.

Giovanni Ruiz’s truck parked near Paula Davis’ home on the day she disappeared. Photo credit: LVMPD

According to the transcripts, a detective believed they were sitting in the truck when he shot and killed her. He then drove the van off then came back for his truck a few minutes later. The evidence also includes a photo of Ruiz in a local gun store.

Giovanni Ruiz is captured on surveillance video in a gun store. Photo credit: LVMPD.

Evidence was also found at Ruiz’s home. There was a gun missing two rounds and a receipt for the gun showing it was purchased two days prior to the killing. Ruiz was later seen buying bleach, water, trash bags and paper towels at a Walmart, the indictment said.

Giovanni Ruiz makes his initial appearance in NLV Justice Court Sept. 16, 2019.

Ruiz was arrested four days after Davis’ body was found by her father. Sean Davis said an app for finding a lost iPhone is how he located his daughter’s cellphone, leading him to the van, and ultimately her body.

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