OHIO TOWNSHIP — A former Ashtabula resident, who four years ago stabbed a man several times in the back at a homeless camp in the Ashtabula Gulf, has been charged in Gallia County in the fatal shooting of her 16-month-old daughter, according to Gallia court officials.
Joyceann L. Ruane, 25, who now lives in Crown City, was arraigned Monday morning and is being held on a $2 million bond at the Gallia County Jail. She is charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, said Gallia County Prosecutor Jason Holdren.
“If found guilty, the penalty would depend on the grand jury’s indictment,” Holdren said. “Depending on the grand jury, the penalty could be life in prison with parole after 25 years, or 30 years; life without the possibility of parole, or it could become a capital case [with a death penalty].”
Holden requested the $2 million bond because of Ruane’s past criminal record in Ashtabula County, where Ruane faced a felonious assault charge in 2016. Ruane pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted felonious assault in May 2017. Ruane told the court she was defending her husband when she stabbed a 56-year-old man. The victim suffered serious injuries, but recovered, according to reports.
Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Gary Yost sentenced Ruane to two years of “intensive supervision.” After the incident, Ruane lost custody of a child, according to court records. It is not known if she regained custody of that child.
According to the complaint filed in Gallipolis Municipal Court, Gallia County 911 received a call at about 3:30 p.m. last Thursday to respond to a shooting on Double Creek Road, Crown City. Upon arrival, a detective with the Gallia Sheriff’s Office found a child victim (described as a 16-month female) with a gunshot wound to the head but still breathing.
Ruane confessed to the detective at the scene, according to a copy of the complaint.
The detective provided immediate medical care to the child until an ambulance arrived. The child was transported to a Huntington, W.Va.-area hospital, where she died the next day.
Ruane was taken into custody at the scene without incident. She again confessed to police during an interview at the Sheriff’s Office, where she “acknowledged she had developed a plan, retrieved a gun and shot the child after an argument with the child’s father,” according to the complaint.
Holdren would not comment Monday on whether Ruane was alone with the child at the time of the shooting.
A preliminary hearing is set for 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in Gallipolis Municipal Court, a court official said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Gillia County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the case.