GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — A preliminary hearing has been rescheduled in regards to a Crown City, Ohio woman who has been charged in the death of her infant daughter.
Joyceann Louise Ruane, 25, was first charged with attempted aggravated murder, prior to the child’s death on Friday. She was later charged with aggravated murder. She has since been arraigned in Gallipolis Municipal Court and is being held on a $2-million bond in the Gallia County Jail.
Ruane’s court-appointed attorney, Britt T. Wiseman and Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren, both appeared before Judge Eric Mulford on Wednesday morning, the day when the preliminary hearing was originally scheduled to take place. Ruane did not appear in the courtroom.
Wiseman requested a short continuance of the hearing, telling Judge Mulford the State of Ohio had provided him some early discovery that he and Holdren had been reviewing. Wiseman stated he had not yet had an opportunity to present this information and review it with his client.
Judge Mulford said the defendant is typically required to be personally present at the hearing and asked Wiseman if he would like to address her absence.
“We would waive her appearance for purposes of today, she’s unavailable at this time, she is in the custody of the Gallia County Sheriff, though she is unavailable to be present here with me this morning.”
Holdern then stated, “Based on the defendant’s unavailability and the request of the defendant through counsel, the state would have no objection to the continuance…”
Judge Mulford then rescheduled the preliminary hearing to 9:15 a.m. on Aug. 5.
As previously reported, the official complaint filed in Gallipolis Municipal Court, states on July 23, Gallia County 911 received a call 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 the child victim (described as a 16-month female) with a gunshot wound to the head but still breathing.
Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin said the officer began to provide immediate medical care to the child as did Gallia EMS personnel.
The complaint further alleges Ruane “acknowledged she had developed a plan, retrieved a gun, and shot the child after an argument with the child’s father.”
Sheriff Champlin said Ruane was taken into custody without incident.
Holdren previously stated, he had requested the $2-million bond in part due to Ruane’s reported past criminal record in Ashtabula County.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.