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Man admits to shooting and killing his wife of 44 years following argument

Crime Watch

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Eugene R. Ruff

BLACKFOOT — An Aberdeen man admitted Friday to shooting and killing his wife of 44 years, according to Bingham County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Paul Rogers.

Eugene Ralph Ruff pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in connection to the death of Bettilee Paulie Ruff. Ruff had originally been charged with first-degree murder but the charge was amended as part of a plea agreement.

Police say that on the evening of July 5, the couple had been drinking. An argument ensued and Ruff is accused of using a .22-250 bolt-action rifle to shoot and kill his wife. After the shooting, he called Power County Dispatch and reported himself as the shooter.

During a hearing Friday morning in Bingham County District Court, Rogers says Ruff stated that he had indeed fatally shot Bettilee Ruff.

As part of the agreement, both the prosecution and defense agree that Ruff will receive an indeterminate life sentence and both parties are free to argue for no less than 10 years and no more than 18 years in prison at the time of sentencing.

Ruff will be sentenced April 8.