Judge hands woman prison sentence in daughter's killing


GALLIPOLIS — A former Ashtabula resident will spend the rest of her life in prison on charges related to the murder of her 16-month-old daughter, according to a Gallia County Common Pleas Court official.

Joyceann Louise Ruane, 25, who now lives in Crown City, was convicted in December of aggravated murder with a firearms specification in Gallia County Common Pleas Court. She also was found guilty of having weapons while under disability. 

Judge Margaret Evans sentenced Ruane on Thursday to life in prison without parole, Prosecutor Jason Holdren said.

“I’m very satisfied with the sentence,” he said after the hearing.

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

Ruane has been behind bars since her arrest and was held on a $2 million bond because of her past criminal record in Ashtabula County, where she faced a felonious assault charge in 2016 after stabbing a man multiple times in the back at a homeless camp in the Ashtabula Gulf. Ruane pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted felonious assault in May 2017. She told the court she was defending her husband when she stabbed the 56-year-old man. The victim suffered serious injuries, but recovered, according to reports.

Ruane was sentenced to two years of intensive supervision. After the incident, she 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, 2020 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.-trauma center, where she died the next day.

Ruane confessed to putting together a plan, getting a gun and shooting the child following an argument with her husband, the child’s father, according to the complaint.

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