Two Auburn men sentenced in murder of Kent man at Southcenter Mall

Chris Wesolowicz was shot in a carjacking incident on Nov. 18, 2022.

Courtesy photo
Cristopher Ruvalcaba.

Courtesy photo Cristopher Ruvalcaba.

The King County Superior Court sentenced two Auburn men on June 14 in the 2022 shooting death of a Kent man at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila.

According to documents, 19-year-old Joe Aguilera and 20-year-old Cristopher Ruvalcaba of Auburn, identified as members of a gang, shot and killed 30-year-old Chris Wesolowicz, in addition to injuring Wesolowicz’s wife, in a carjacking incident on Nov. 18, 2022, at the mall. A third suspect, 17-year-old Kevin Diaz-Bautista of Auburn, continues to await a jury trial.

According to charging documents, ballistics testing identified the two firearms Aguilera and Ruvalcaba used in Wesolowicz’s shooting as having been used in an additional five separate shootings. Senior deputy prosecuting attorney Christopher Anderson stated in charging documents that the arrest of the three individuals ended a “shooting spree throughout South King County.”

Judge Andrea Darvas sentenced Aguilera and Ruvalcaba after both men accepted plea deals, pleading guilty on March 25 to a charge of murder in the second degree. The court dismissed a felony charge of theft of a motor vehicle at the sentencing hearing for both men, as per the plea deal.

Friends and family of Ruvalcaba and Aguilera and Wesolowicz, including Wesolowicz’s wife, attended the sentencing hearing.

The court sentenced Aguilera to 10 years and three months in confinement, and sentenced Ruvalcaba to 12 years and six months in confinement in the custody of the Washington State Department of Corrections.

According to court documents, Aguilera was under age 18 at the time of the shooting and will be initially transferred and placed in a facility operated by the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Both men face an additional three years of community custody following confinement.

Diaz-Bautista, 17, continues to await trial for a charge of murder in the second degree.

The King County Superior Court will try Diaz-Bautista, age 16 at the time of the shooting, as an adult as a result of the severity of the charge. The court scheduled Diaz-Bautista’s jury trial for Aug. 12.

Diaz-Bautista remains in the custody of the county’s Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle on $2 million bail.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Courtesy photo
Joe Aguilera.

Courtesy photo Joe Aguilera.

More in News

t
Kent Police arrest woman in domestic violence case after 4-hour standoff

27-year-old woman reportedly attacked husband, father-in-law Monday, July 22

t
Kent man, 47, under investigation for vehicular assault on SR 509

Wrong-way driver in northbound lanes collided with two vehicles; 6 people injured in Burien crash

9th Congressional District Rep. Adam Smith, 8th Congressional District Rep. Kim Schrier, 1st Congressional District Rep. Suzan DelBene and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell are among Democrats from Washington state who support President Joe Biden’s decision to stop his re-election campaign. Courtesy photos
WA Democrat leaders ‘applaud’ Biden for dropping out of race

Smith, Schrier, DelBene and Cantwell released statements in support of President Biden’s Sunday decision to no longer seek re-election.

t
Gov. Inslee appoints Pat Sullivan to lead state budget office

Sullivan previously served as House District 47 state representative for Kent, Covington, Auburn

t
Kent Police seek man who reportedly tried to kidnap girl from apartment

Man allegedly reached into bathroom window to grab girl in attempted kidnapping

t
Kent Police arrest man, 18, in fatal shooting of 13-year-old boy

Judge finds probable cause to hold the Kent man for murder, attempted murder and robbery

The Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle that handles juvenile detention. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
High-profile juvenile crimes continue to rock Kent this summer

Six incidents in five weeks include fatal shooting, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
Kent man charged with attempted kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man allegedly try to take girl from apartment complex parking lot

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Kent man receives 8-year sentence in 2021 fatal shooting

Pleaded guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter in shooting at apartment complex over parking dispute

Courtesy Photo, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Judge finds probable cause to hold Kent man for kidnapping girl

Man, 40, reportedly grabbed 6-year-old girl in East Hill apartment complex parking lot

t
King County residential property values rise 12.4% in SE Kent

King County Assessor John Wilson begins to release 2024 numbers

t
Three 11-year-old girls in Kent help stop kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man reportedly grabbed girl in apartment complex parking lot on East Hill