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Suspect in UNLV student’s death appears in North Las Vegas court

The 21-year-old man accused of killing UNLV student Paula Davis appeared in court for the first time early Monday.

Giovanni Ruiz stood stoic, largely avoiding glances around the North Las Vegas courtroom. In the gallery quietly sat 19-year-old Paula Davis’ father, Sean, holding a notebook.

Ruiz faces one count of murder with a deadly weapon. He was arrested four days after Paula Davis was found shot to death inside her family’s van at a North Las Vegas park.

The same day he was booked into the Las Vegas Detention Center, detectives found a semi-automatic handgun and a receipt for the weapon hidden inside a suitcase in Ruiz’s home, according to an arrest report. It was purchased two days before Davis was killed.

According to the report, the two had dated, but Paula Davis tried to break up with Ruiz days before she was found, her family told police. She had described him as possessive and jealous, according to the report.

Ruiz’s attorney, Gabriel Grasso, said in court Monday that Ruiz had been living with his family at the time of his arrest.

He also was working part time as an accountant, doing contract work for the government, though Grasso did not provide more details. Ruiz is a graduate accounting student at UNLV.

Grasso said he filed a motion to prohibit police officers from speaking to the media about the case. A copy of the motion was not available Monday, but a hearing on the matter is slated for next week.

After the hearing, Grasso said it was too early to comment on the case.

Outside the courthouse Tuesday, Paula Davis’ father said the family had welcomed Ruiz into their home. He would come over often and participate in family activities, the father said.

Ruiz is due in court again next Monday.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3801. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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