lllegal Immigrant Convicted Of Deadly Hit-And-Run

Justin Goodman's Family Relieved That Martinez-Ruiz Now Locked Up

An illegal immigrant could spend 28 years in prison for his role in the hit-and-run death of a motorcyclist.

Justin John Steven Goodman was killed when his motorcycle was hit by an SUV driver who fled the scene.

Roberto Martinez-Ruiz was convicted Thursday on seven criminal counts in the accident, including leaving the scene and tampering with evidence to cover up a crime.

Justin Goodman, 32, was riding his motorcycle through an intersection in Thornton last July 1 when he was hit by a Ford Explorer. The truck never stopped, sailing through 88th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Goodman died near the curb where he was thrown by the impact.

Thornton investigators spent months tracking down the suspect and finally arrested 33-year-old Martinez-Ruiz. Martinez is an illegal immigrant who police say had phony immigration documents and had been in trouble with the law several times before.

"This is a man that got away with his crimes over and over again and today he found out that particular behavior pattern is over," said Carol Vizzi, Goodman's mother.

"Justin left a lot of loved ones behind and we wanted everyone to know that," said the victim's wife, Christine Goodman.

It was a 7NEWS investigation that revealed that no local law enforcement agency, prosecutor, or judge ever contacted federal immigration officials to have Martinez-Ruiz deported after his numerous arrests and time spent in jail.

Since 1996, Martinez-Ruiz used six different aliases, had arrests for driving under the influence, failure to appear in court, probation violation, careless driving, driving with a revoked license, and hit and run.

He has spent time in jail and in 2000, his license was revoked for five years.

Previous Stories:

Print this article Back to Top