Stamford murder suspect in court for competency hearing

May 4, 2018 GMT

STAMFORD-The Glenbrook man who allegedly smothered and killed his wife before leaving his young daughter in a New York City bus station 18 months ago will find out today whether he is competent to stand trial for his crimes.

Elmer Gomez Ruano, 33, who is charged with murder and risk of injury to a child. was up until a few months ago was represented by attorney Darnell Crosland. But he was given permission to withdraw from the case and it was handed over to the Stamford courthouse’s number two public defender, Howard Ehring.

Ehring requested a competency evaluation after being assigned the case. A hearing is scheduled at the Stamford courthouse Friday to determine whether Gomez Ruano understands the charges against him and can assist in his own defense. No date has been set for trial.

Gomez Ruano is charged with the murder of his wife, Dionicia Bautista-Cano, in their Glenbrook apartment on Nov. 13, 2016, the last homicide that took place in Stamford.

Bautista-Cano came to live with Gomez Ruano in a Courtland Avenue apartment after a time apart when she was living in New Jersey. Within two days of moving in together, Bautista-Cano was dead.

Police say Bautista-Cano exchanged a series of panicked text messages with her former boyfriend in New Jersey just before she was killed. “He says he is going to kill us both,” she texted to the man in Spanish.

The disagreements escalated into a physical fight inside their apartment while their six-year-old daughter was apparently asleep.

Gomez Ruano told police he then smothered the 24-year-old woman with a wet towel until she died,

according to a stunning confession revealed in his arrest warrant.

Gomez Ruano has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.