Sister of murdered California man responds to convicted killer's early release: 'Absolutely devastating'

Terebea Williams received 84-years-to-life sentence in 1998 death of Kevin 'John' Ruska

The sister of a California man murdered in 1998 voiced her frustration on "The Story" Friday after the woman convicted of the crime was released from prison this week due to coronavirus concerns.

"It's absolutely devastating and mind-boggling that this has happened," Dena Love told host Trace Gallagher. "And here we are, 22 years after his horrific murder. We're right back in that same place that we were 22 years ago."

Terebea Williams was sentenced to 84 years-to-life in prison after she was convicted in 2001 of first-degree murder, use of a firearm, carjacking, and kidnapping in the killing of 23-year-old Kevin "John" Ruska Jr.

Williams shot Ruska in the abdomen after holding him at gunpoint and shoving him into the trunk of a car. His body was found tied to a chair in a Davis, Calif. motel room.

Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to release 8,000 inmates by Aug. 1

"Just want folks to know, advocates for urgency to know, your voices are being heard," Newsom said June 29. "For family members with loved ones in those facilities to know your voices are being heard. And I know that we are committed to meeting our responsibilities."


Love said California authorities "should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen, that the rights of the prisoners are more important than the rights of the victims and the victims' families," Love said. "And it's absolutely shameful that this is being allowed to happen."

In a statement to KOVR-TV, the Yolo County District Attorney's office said it was “hopeful that there will be a more balanced approach to inmate releases that addresses the needs to mitigate the spread of COVID.”