Woman who abandoned baby has sentenced reduced

May 18, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

A Washington County Circuit judge shaved a year off the prison sentence of a woman who left her newborn baby boy beneath a trailer in Hagerstown almost two years ago.

Kelly Erin Ruck, 27, who entered an Alford plea in April 2006 to attempted second-degree murder in connection with the case, originally was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with all but five years suspended. In an order issued Wednesday, Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III reduced the amount of time Ruck will spend in prison to four years.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Ruck was accused of abandoning her baby on Sept. 17, 2005, and placing him beneath a trailer parked behind her home at 809 Maryland Ave. The baby was rescued by a neighbor after he spotted bloody rags near the trailer.


In Boone's order, Ruck will serve three years of probation, with the first 1 1/2 years supervised. While she is on probation, Ruck must complete mental health treatment as recommended and take any prescribed medication, according to the order.

Ruck is not allowed to be alone with the baby boy for the first six months of her probation unless her doctor permits it, according to the order.

Scott Rohrbaugh, the father of the child, testified on Ruck's behalf during her April 24 sentence modification hearing. He is caring for the couple's child and takes the toddler to visit Ruck every Sunday, he testified in April.

Ruck also testified at her April hearing.

"My son, he means the world to me, he means everything to me," she said at the hearing.

She testified that when her son is older, she plans to tell him about the "big, horrible mistake" she made.

Ruck is being held at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, Md., a prison spokeswoman said Friday.

She is scheduled to have a parole hearing in November, according to Boone's order. If she is not paroled, Ruck's mandatory release date is Oct. 10, 2009, according to court documents.

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