Woman acquitted of filicide of autistic

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ASPartOfMe
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01 Aug 2022, 10:03 am

Missouri woman acquitted of murder in 2017 death of autistic teen daughter she gave up for adoption as a baby

Quote:
A judge on Friday acquitted a southwestern Missouri woman on murder and two other felony charges in the death of the autistic teenage daughter that she gave up for adoption as a baby.

Greene County Circuit Court Judge Calvin Holden found Rebecca Ruud not guilty of first- and second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and felony abuse or neglect of a child but found her guilty on the remaining charge, illegally abandoning a corpse. The charges stemmed from the July 2017 death of 16-year-old Savannah Leckie, whose remains were found in a burn pit on Ruud's remote property near the Arkansas-Missouri border.

Ruud is scheduled to be sentenced on the last charge Sept. 15 by Holden, who heard the case instead of a jury in Springfield after a change of venue from Ozark County to the southwest.

Prosecutors described Savannah as the victim of severe abuse after she left her adoptive family in Minnesota and moved to Missouri to be with her biological mother. Ruud said the girl disappeared after running away because she blamed herself for starting a fire on the family's property.

According to a probable cause statement filed along with the charges against Ruud in 2017, the girl's adoptive mother asked Ruud to take her because Savannah did not get along with her adoptive mother's fiancé.

Authorities said that after the girl moved to Missouri, she was home-schooled and had "almost no social contacts."

Ruud reported Savannah missing two days after the fire on the family's remote property, authorities said. Several searches turned up human teeth, a meat grinder, a knife and 26 bottles of lye, which can be used to accelerate the breakdown of bodily tissue, according to court documents. Human bone fragments were found in a field about 400 yards (365 meters) from Ruud's home, about two weeks after Savannah's reported disappearance.

An ex-boyfriend of Ruud's told investigators that he had seen her discipline Savannah by forcing the teen to crawl through a hog pen and making her bathe in a pond, authorities said. Ruud acknowledged that this was true and told investigators that when Savannah cut her arm "in a suicidal gesture," she forced the girl to scrub the wound daily with alcohol and salt as punishment.

A bizarre verdict in a bizarre case.


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Fnord
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01 Aug 2022, 10:18 am

Quote:
". . . not guilty of first- and second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and felony abuse or neglect of a child . . ."

Either: (1) the prosecution failed to prove a causal connection between the defendant and the crimes, or (2) the defendant is smart enough to cover up any such connections, or (3) the defendant did not commit the crimes of which she was accused, or (4) some combination thereof.

Lack of evidence and "reasonable doubt" thwart the prosecution of many criminal cases, and things that some people would consider "evidence" really are not evidence at all (i.e., suspicion, rumor, coincidence, proximity, et cetera).



Misslizard
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03 Aug 2022, 9:18 am

The sorry ass mom looked like a meth head.
Was following this case on the local news, the people in the area are not happy about it.


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