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NYC Transit Cop Convicted in Wife’s Death

August 22, 1986 GMT

NEW CITY, N.Y. (AP) _ A jury today convicted a New York City transit policeman of second-degree murder in the shooting of his estranged wife, a New York police officer.

John Bruetsch, 40, sat motionless during the reading of the verdict, while members of his wife’s family sighed with relief and smiled.

He faces up to 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 2.

The Rockland County jury deliberated 5 1/2 hours.

Both the defense and prosecution agreed that Bruetsch killed his wife, Milta Ruiz Bruetsch, 22, outside her brother’s home on Oct. 29, 1985.

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Bruetsch’s lawyer, Jacob Evseroff, claimed in his closing arguments that his client shot his wife because he was obsessed with her. ″Unwillingly, she was driving him crazy,″ he said.

Bruetsch testified that he loved his wife and did not remember shooting her. He pleaded innocent by reason of insanity and was held on $10 million bail.

Prosecution psychiatrists testified that Bruetsch had a history of violence toward women.