Ruby Ann Ruffolo has been denied a new trial and stands convicted of first-degree murder in the death of her husband nine years ago in Saanich.
Today in a written ruling, Court of Appeal for B.C. dismissed Ruffolo’s main argument that her second lawyer on her second trial was “ineffective” because he failed to question her daughter Jovanna Ruffolo on the daughter’s whereabouts on the night John Ruffolo was killed.
The appeal court dismissed an affidavit from Jovanna sworn in March this year that suggested she was at home the night of the murder and that she didn’t hear or see anything out of the ordinary.
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. A few days later his body was found in a ditch on Humpback Road in Langford.
Justice Lance Finch, who wrote the ruling, doubted Jovanna’s recollection of events were better now than in 2004 at age 13 or 14, when she told police she wasn’t sure if she was home the night of Oct. 19, 2003.
Ruffolo also argued that her lawyer Greg DelBigio failed to cross examine Jovanna on the daughter’s whereabouts the night of the murder, going against Rufollo’s wishes at her second trial. The justice noted that Ruffolo didn’t raise this issue until March this year, and had ample chances to do so during her trial.
Justice Finch also pointed out Rufollo’s suggestion her daughter was home contradicted her earlier rather detailed notes that Jovanna had spent the night at a friend’s house. Ruffolo’s attempt to “explain this evidence away” is “not capable of belief,” the justice wrote.
Other complaints by Ruffolo, such as her first lawyer giving ineffective assistance, or that her trial was unfair due to a procedural issue, were equally dismissed as baseless.
Ruffolo is serving a life sentence without a chance for parole for 25 years.
See the full court ruling here.