Former Ashtabula woman convicted in toddler's death

Ruane

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — 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 convicted of aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of her 16-month-old daughter, according to a press release from the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office.

Joyceann Louise Ruane, 25, who now lives in Crown City, was convicted in December in the Gallia County Common Pleas Court of aggravated murder, a special category felony; a firearm specification, indicating Ruane used a firearm to facilitate the offense of aggravated murder, and having weapons while under disability, a felony of the third degree.

The convictions result from the July 23, 2020, shooting and death of Ruane’s child, according to the press release.

Ruane is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 17 by Judge Margaret Evans in the Gallia County Common Pleas Court. Ruane faces life in prison without parole, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Ruane has been behind bars since her arrest and is being held on a $2 million bond because of her past criminal record in Ashtabula County, where she faced a felonious assault charge in 2016. Ruane pleaded guilty to a lesser charger 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.

Now-retired 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 murder complaint filed in Gallipolis Municipal Court, Gallia County 911 received a call on July 23 to respond to a shooting in the 900-block of Double Creek Road, Crown City. Upon arrival, a detective with the Gallia Sheriff’s Office found a 16-month-old female with a gunshot wound to the head but still breathing.

A police officer 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 admitted to shooting the child following an argument with the child’s father, according to the complaint.

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