OHIO TWP. — The mother of a 16-month old has been charged in a reported shooting incident involving her child on Thursday at a residence on Double Creek Road, in Ohio Township. The child succumbed to its injuries on Friday afternoon.
Prior to the child’s death, both Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin and Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren held a press conference on the steps of the Gallia County Courthouse early Friday, to provide updated information on the incident.
At the time of the press conference, it was announced Joyceann Louise Ruane, age 25, of Crown City, Ohio, had been charged with Attempted Aggravated Murder and was being held on a $2 million bond in the Gallia Jail. Ruane was identified by officials as the child’s mother. Shortly after the press conference, it was announced the child, who had been transported to a Huntington-area hospital, had died.
“It is unfortunate at this time that we report the victim in this investigation has succumbed to the injuries she sustained,” a joint statement from Champlin and Holdren, read. “As a result of these new facts, we have filed a charge of Aggravated Murder this afternoon in the Gallipolis Municipal Court, against the defendant Joyceann Louise Ruane.”
Holdren later confirmed with Ohio Valley Publishing, Ruane is due to be arraigned on the aggravated murder charge next week.
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. Champlin said the officer began to provide immediate medical care to the child followed by 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.
Though Ruane’s home address is listed as the same address where the reported incident took place, it has not yet been revealed whether she was alone at the time of the alleged shooting; who called 911; the type of weapon used; exactly where the alleged shooting occurred, in relation to the residence. Both the sheriff and prosecutor stated as the investigation and any court proceedings progress, further details would come out but at this point, this was on ongoing investigation.
Holdren said during Ruane’s arraignment before Judge Eric Mulford on Friday, on the Attempted Aggravated Murder charge, he requested the $2 million bond, in part due to the defendant having prior felony convictions and that she was currently on probation on those convictions in another county. Holdren did elaborate that the charges were in Ashtabula County, and he was still familiarizing himself with the suspect’s reported, complete criminal history.
More on this story as information becomes available. A video of the press conference on Friday can be viewed on the Tribune’s Facebook page.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.