DUI suspect, accused in boy's death, denied bond

- Little Jacob Bustos will never get to celebrate his fourth birthday.  He was killed, prosecutors say, after drunk driver John Rutland ran a stop sign and crashed into the family SUV.

"He struck the left rear side of the SUV, causing it to violently overturn several times," explained FHP Corporal Doug Guy.

There were seven people in the SUV.  Two other kids suffered severe injuries but survived.

At a bond hearing today, prosecutors played a few jailhouse calls.  Rutland appeared scared during a call with a relative: "I'm in serious crap, bro. My life's over, man,  It's over."

Crash scene investigators say Rutland failed a field sobriety test and his blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.  But this is nothing new to Rutland, who had just completed probation for drunk driving in 2015.

Detectives  learned, the night of the crash, his own children -- 9 and 5 years old -- were in the car with him.  But by the time police arrived at the scene, they were gone.

Rutland's wife was asked about it by Prosecutor Barbara Coleman: "Who got the children from the scene?"

"Me," Joanna Rutland replied, "as soon as I got the call, I came."

In one jail call, you hear Rutland trying to console of his kids. "You OK honey? I need you to be a strong girl."

But the call with his wife Joanna, may have hurt his chances.  He's caught joking about skipping bond -- if he gets it.

"I ain't running, know what I'm saying, unless you want me to," Rutland told his wife.  "I'm just playing; I'm not going to run."

By then, the judge had heard enough and said Rutland must stay in jail until his trial.

That was a relief for Jacob's mother Guadalupe, explained her attorney.

"If it wasn't for his impairment, they would be having a normal life today," offered Tony Lopez.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • DUI suspect, accused in boy's death, denied bond
  • Gravesites disturbed in Zephyrhills cemetery
  • Man accused in 12 tented-home break-ins
  • Chemical release causes children to get sick at Tampa pool
  • Kidnapping suspect fights for custody of kids
  • Police: Presumed kidnapper was actually helping lost child
  • Dog stolen from man with mental disability
  • Protesters still want Tampa's Confederate memorial to come down
  • Missing child alert for 7-year-old Davenport boy
  • Vinik-Gates venture promises a new downtown for Tampa