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Ruffolo awaits appeal results

Ruby-Ann Ruffolo - File photo
Ruby-Ann Ruffolo
— image credit: File photo

Ruby-Ann Ruffolo has appealed her first-degree murder conviction at the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver, and is now waiting for the judge’s decision.

Ruffolo’s lawyer made two days of oral submissions over Monday and Tuesday. A decision could come in a few weeks or a month.

On Nov. 18, 2010, Ruffolo was convicted of killing her husband John Ruffolo by giving him a protein shake laced with the drug amtripyline followed by a lethal dose of heroin on Oct. 19, 2003, at their Tulip Avenue home in Saanich. A few days later his body was found in a ditch on Humpback Road in Langford.

Justice Mary Humphries, who convicted Ruffolo of first degree murder, delivered a 154-page judgment, outlining the long and complicated trial process that was beset with delays and one mistrial.

Ruffolo has appealed her conviction based on “that the trial judge misapprehended evidence, engaged in faulty reasoning, misplaced the onus of proof, and accepted Crown submissions without any independent analysis,” according to a summary in court documents.

Justice Mary Newbury, who granted Ruffolo bail last year in May before that was overturned by an appeal court in August, suggested Ruffolo’s grounds for appeal weren’t frivolous, but weren’t strong either.

“They depend largely on showing that the trial judge erred in her findings and inferences of fact – a task that will be very difficult in this case, given the lengthy analysis which the trial judge gave to the various inconsistencies in evidence given by various witnesses,” Newbury wrote. “In short, the appeal will ... be a steep uphill climb for the defence.”

editor@saanichnews.com

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