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Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:00 am

Hammer attack nets 105 years

Man killed father, injured mother

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Scott Ruse did more than take a life when he attacked his parents last year with a hammer, killing his father, members of his family told an Allen County judge.

He destroyed a family and its 70-year-old cabinet-making business, they said. His mother, Sandie, survived but won't be the same, they said.

“Scott is no more than a pure evil, narcissistic psychopath,” Kandace Kelly, Ruse's niece, said in Allen Superior Court on Monday. “Scott needs to spend the rest of his life in jail.”

Judge John Surbeck, calling the crime “extraordinarily brutal,” ensured that will happen. He sentenced Ruse, 51, to 105 years in prison on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Ruse pleaded guilty to the charges in February. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two charges of robbery and a count of felony murder.

He arrived at Sandie and Gene Ruse's home on Homestead Road on July 5, intending to kill them, court documents say.

Ruse said he was on drugs when he beat his parents and stole their car to drive to a drug dealer to buy crack cocaine.

Ruse was found driving his parents' car in Whitley County about an hour after the attack. Police found a bloody hammer in the car, and his clothes were bloody, court documents say.

Gene Ruse died 13 days later.

Kelly and her cousin Kristine Kurtz said Ruse is a chronic drug user prone to deception who cares little for those around him. Each said Ruse's parents supported him financially and sought treatment for their son.

Kurtz said Ruse has caused “destruction and devastation” and “unimaginable emotional pain.”

In a letter to the judge in late February, Donald Ruse of Sweetser said the attack on his brother and sister-in-law “caused ripple effects” including emotional problems for Sandie Ruse and the loss of Brookwood Cabinet Co., the business they operated on Fort Wayne's east side.

The business was sold in September.

Scott Ruse's wife left him, the letter says, and his son is effectively left without a father.

“Time and again his parents tried to help him,” Donald Ruse wrote to Surbeck, “but when they saw their efforts were in vain, they told him they would no longer support him.

“He became vengeful and decided to kill them.”

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Steven Godfrey said a letter from Sandie Ruse says she sought treatment for her son's drug problem.

“He leeched off his parents their entire life,” Godfrey said. “When they finally cut him off,” he tried to kill them.

Ruse sat emotionless during the sentencing hearing, at times looking at the floor as others spoke.

“I actually agree with what was said today,” he said.

Murder carries a maximum sentence of 65 years, and attempted murder carries a maximum penalty of 40 years, under Indiana law.

Surbeck sentenced him to the maximum for both counts to run back-to-back.