ROCKVILLE, Md. — A judge sentenced a Silver Spring man who stalked his ex-girlfriend's location on Instagram, and then murdered her new boyfriend in front of her, to 30 years in prison.
The killing has Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy pushing lawmakers to expand the definition of stalking to include victims who are tracked through their phones.
A lot of people have used their phones to share our locations with friends and family. But this case is a deadly exclamation mark on just how vulnerable victims can be when they try to move on without turning location sharing off.
"It's beyond anger," said Julio Ruiz, the brother of victim 20-year-old Jose Ruiz. He is still grieving for his lost dreams and frustrated his killer could track his brother's every move.
"If we would have known he was being tracked down, even if he would have known he was being tracked down, things would have been different," said Julio Ruiz.
Surveillance video captured Denzel Kasaka, 23, confronting his ex-girlfriend and Ruiz in the parking lot outside Ruiz's townhome. On the video, you can see the men fighting and hear the ex-girlfriend screaming for them to stop.
The day before the murder, Kasaka messaged Ruiz and his ex-girlfriend: "One of ya gonna leave leaking"
"The victim, in this case, was stabbed 14 times. Two of the wounds were fatal, striking both his lung and his heart," said McCarthy, the prosecutor.
He explained Kasaka was able to track Ruiz and his ex-girlfriend's location through Instagram.
Maryland lawmakers are now considering two bills that would expand the definition of stalking to include electronic devices.
"Instances of using electronic devices to stalk ex-wives, ex-girlfriends and in the course of domestic matters... I think it's something that happens regularly, routinely," said McCarthy.
Kasaka and Ruiz fought with their hands before the murder, and Ruiz allegedly broke the back window of Kasaka's car.
Kasaka's lawyer called the murder self-defense and promised to appeal.
No comment so far from Instagram.
Prosecutors say one way Kasaka was able to track his ex-girlfriend was because she had used his phone at one point to log into her Instagram account. He was actually able to log into her account on his phone.
Experts say it's a reminder to not only stop sharing location information with someone threatening, but possibly change your account password too.