Man arrested for domestic violence, then escaped, expected to receive 9 years in prison

Ruben Zavala-Garcia

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A man who escaped from the South Lake Tahoe jail and was subsequently re-arrested in Las Vegas, will be sent to prison for several years when his sentencing takes place later this month, authorities announced.

Ruben Zavala-Garcia entered a no contest plea to a felony violation of domestic violence with a prior conviction and a felony escape charge on June 6, and is expected to be sentenced to 9 years and four months in state prison by Judge Michael J. McLaughlin on July 25, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

The DA’s office said that on July 4, 2021, Zavala-Garcia went into the victim’s home and slammed the victim’s head into a door. Zavala-Garcia also had previously been convicted of domestic violence.

While he was in custody, Zavala-Garcia, 38, escaped while taking out the garbage on Nov. 23, 2021. EDSO investigators immediately responded, contacting persons and visiting locations associated with Zavala-Garcia. Deputies, detectives, canines and air support searched all night in the South Lake Tahoe area but Zavala-Garcia was not located, the Tribune previously reported.

A few months later, he was arrested in Las Vegas on Feb. 24 and detained at the Clark County Detention Center before being extradited back to El Dorado County. 

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office investigators and the FBI Sacramento field office worked cooperatively to locate Zavala-Garcia, said a statement from the DA’s office at the time of arrest.

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