DETROIT (WWJ) – Juan Cruz will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to 40 to 92 years in the 1989 murder of a 26-year-old Detroit woman.
Cruz, 57, fled to Mexico after fatally shooting Rose-Marie “Rosie” Woolwine and lived free for 20 years. He was caught in 2011 and convicted of second degree murder.
WWJ Newsradio 950’s Beth Fisher reported many tears were shed as five of the victim’s family members spoke in court on Monday.
Sarah Chavarria, one of Woolwine’s three children, was eight years old when her mother was murdered.
“I got married without my mother, I had a son without my mother, and I’m carrying my mother’s first granddaughter without her here, Chavarria said. “She’ll never know my family, my wonderful husband, my toddler son. And she will never know the people that hold me up and give me strength today.”
Also speaking was Woolwine’s daughter Theresa Ramirez, who spent years seeking justice. She was seven when her mom died.
“Rosie never saw me break records in track and field, earn the highest rank in ROTC, help me get ready for my first date, graduate from college. And she will never see all of the milestones I have yet to face,” Ramirez said.
“I cannot even understand the bond of a mom and daughter, and I will never truly know this when I have my own children,” she said. “Juan Cruz stole from me the most important relationship I could or would ever have had.”
Cruz, through an interpreter, apologized to Woolwine’s family.