Two Auburn men convicted in killing of Kent man at Southcenter Mall

Two Auburn men convicted in killing of Kent man at Southcenter Mall

Chris Wesolowicz was shot and killed during a carjacking incident on November 18, 2022.

King County Superior Court sentenced two Auburn men June 14 in the 2022 shooting death of a Kent man at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila.

According to documents, Joe Aguilera, 19, and Cristopher Ruvalcaba, 20, of Auburn, identified as gang members, shot and killed Chris Wesolowicz, 30, in addition to injuring Wesolowicz's wife, during a carjacking. incident occurred on November 18, 2022 at the shopping center. A third suspect, Kevin Diaz-Bautista, 17, of Auburn, still awaits his jury trial.

According to charging documents, ballistics tests identified the two firearms used by Aguilera and Ruvalcaba in the Wesolowicz shooting as having been used in five other separate shootings. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Anderson said in charging documents that the arrest of the three individuals ended a “shootout throughout South King County.”

Judge Andrea Darvas sentenced Aguilera and Ruvalcaba after both men accepted plea deals, pleading guilty March 25 to a second-degree murder charge. The court dismissed the theft of a motor vehicle charge at the sentencing hearing for both men, per the plea agreement.

Friends and family of Ruvalcaba, Aguilera and Wesolowicz, including Wesolowicz's wife, attended the sentencing hearing.

The court sentenced Aguilera to 10 years and three months in custody and Ruvalcaba to 12 years and six months in custody of the Washington State Department of Corrections.

According to court documents, Aguilera was under 18 at the time of the shooting and will initially be transferred and placed in a facility run by the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Both men face a further three years of community custody after their detention.

Diaz-Bautista, 17, is still awaiting trial on a charge of second-degree murder.

King County Superior Court will try Diaz-Bautista, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, as an adult because of the seriousness of the charge. The court scheduled Diaz-Bautista's jury trial for August 12.

Diaz-Bautista remains in the custody of the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle County on $2 million bail.

Joe Aguilera.  Courtesy photo

Joe Aguilera. Courtesy photo

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