Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / May 3, 2023
(Douglas County, Colo.) Brian Diaz Montellano and Alexis Michele Ruder-Iturrino were sentenced to serve over a decade in federal prison for a June 19, 2022, carjacking in Highlands Ranch.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, Diaz Montellano, 29, and Ruder-Iturrino, 27, were sentenced to 14 and 11 years in prison, respectively. Both pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm during a crime of violence as part of a plea deal, and Diaz Montellano also pled guilty to carjacking. The agreement dismissed two charges against Diaz Montellano — possession of a weapon by a previous offender and illegal reentry to the U.S. after removal due to a felony conviction — and one charge of carjacking against Ruder-Iturrino.
“The defendants terrorized their carjacking victims, making them afraid for their lives,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “Based on their conduct they will each have more than ten years in federal prison to consider their actions.”
The FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, which included a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy, conducted the investigation.
“We appreciate our partners with the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for taking these violent people off the streets,” said Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly. “This case serves as a reminder that violent crimes such as carjacking and the use of firearms will not be tolerated, and those who engage in such behavior will face real time behind bars.”
According to court documents, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to Colorado 470 and Broadway in Highlands Ranch at approximately 5:20 p.m. after receiving a report of a female passenger attempting to exit a white Dodge pickup truck and the male driver pulling her back inside. These two were later identified as Diaz Montellano and Ruder-Iturrino.
Deputies located the truck traveling eastbound on Colorado 470 at about 100 mph. Diaz Monetellano led deputies southbound in the northbound lanes of I-25, weaving through traffic. After losing sight of the truck, a report of shots fired was reported regarding a white Dodge truck near Ridgegate Parkway and Stepping Stone Circle.
The truck was found abandoned but still running and in gear in an intersection. Deputies spoke with a husband and wife at the intersection, who said the Dodge’s occupants took their Subaru while brandishing an AR-15 rifle after nearly causing the couple to crash by stopping the truck directly in front of the Subaru. Ruder-Iturrino shot the AR-15 into the air once and again directly into the ground near one of the victim’s feet.
Later, deputies found the stolen Subaru with the keys inside in Aurora.
Fingerprints confirmed the identity of Diaz Montellano, who Denver police detectives arrested for a separate crime. Ruder-Iturrino was arrested at the same time for seven outstanding warrants for other felony charges, including aggravated motor vehicle theft, possession of drugs, identity fraud and trespassing. A semiautomatic pistol and methamphetamine were found in the hotel room.
Ruder-Iturrino told police she tried to leave Diaz Montellano days before the carjacking, but he shot her at one point, beat her, and threatened to kill her. She said she was afraid of Diaz Montellano and complied, leading to her accidentally firing the AR-15 during the carjacking.