A woman convicted of murdering her husband with a lethal dose of heroin nine years ago in Saanich will remain behind bars after a British Columbia court rejected her appeal.
In November 2010, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries convicted Ruby Ann Ruffolo of the October 2003 murder of her husband, John Ruffolo. The Crown had argued that Ms. Ruffolo hated her husband and saw his death as preferable over a divorce. Judge Humphries accepted the Crown’s theory that Ms. Ruffolo had sedated her husband by putting amitriptyline in a protein shake she made for him, injected him with heroin then dumped the body in a Langford ditch, about 15 kilometres away.
The defence had argued there was a lack of evidence connecting Ms. Ruffolo to the death and questioned the credibility of witnesses.
Ms. Ruffolo was given the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder: life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
She appealed her conviction in December, 2010 – with her main argument being there was “ineffective assistance” from her lawyers – and was released in May, 2011 on $100,000 bail pending the appeal. The Crown appealed the bail and, in August, a judge overturned the decision, sending Ms. Ruffolo back to prison.
In a written ruling released Friday, Chief Justice Lance Finch said examples raised by Ms. Ruffolo “do not rise to the standard required to demonstrate ineffective assistance of counsel.”
She remains at the Fraser Valley Institute for women.