Scott L. Ruse, who beat parents with hammer, sentenced in Fort Wayne murder, assault case

Scott Ruse (Photo courtesy of the Allen County Sheriff's Department)

Scott L. Ruse looked down Monday afternoon in Allen Superior Court as his family talked about his years of taking money from his parents and “the destruction and devastation” that the “evil, narcissistic psychopath” caused, which culminated with him trying to kill both the people who were always there to help him.

Ruse, 51, received a prison sentence of 105 years, the maximum imposed by Allen Superior Judge John F. Surbeck, for the murder of Ruse’s father, Gene L. Ruse, 75, and the assault on his mother, Sandra, who was 72 during the July 5 attack in the couple’s home in the 3300 block of Homestead Road. He’ll receive 250 days’ credit.

Surbeck cited the victims’ ages, their relationship as his parents, and the fact that the couple had given money to their son over the years, including paying for drug treatment for him, as aggravating factors that merited the maximum of 65 years for the murder charge and 40 years for the attempted murder charge, with the terms to be served consecutively.

“They worked desperately for years to help him both financially and with treatment and rehabilitation for his drug addiction, always unsuccessfully,” Surbeck said.

Three other charges were dismissed as part of Ruse’s February agreement to plead guilty. Surbeck said he also will grant a “no-contact” order for Sandra Ruse against her son.

Ruse said he agreed that he should get the maximum sentence.

“When I am on drugs, I’m a different person,” Ruse told Surbeck. “… When I’m off drugs, I’m a pretty nice person.”

The sentence means that while Gene Ruse was taken off life support and died July 18 while surrounded by family, his son will likely die alone in prison where no one cares about him, as was the wish expressed by his cousin Kandace Kelly during the hearing.

Kelly said Ruse was a “master manipulator” and described him as a psychopath.

She said in court that Ruse’s parents gave him money for his business ventures and cars, and a place to stay – their lakehouse – after his divorce. However, Ruse took advantage of that by putting in illegal Cherry Master gambling machines and dealing cocaine at his bar, destroying the home where he invited drug users and also brought convicted felons into his bedroom at their home that Kelly cleaned out and found “spice all over the room.”

Ruse, according to Kelly, once told his parents he was going to a store to get things for a new job but hours later sent them a photo of a hospital wristband. Panic-stricken, his parents rushed to the hospital, which had no record of him, but where they waited for hours for word from him, Kelly said.

When Ruse showed up at the hospital, it was to tell his parents that he’d had a cardiac arrest, but according to police reports, he’d overdosed at a drug house and had to be revived twice with Narcan, Kelly said. He likely was taken to the hospital by police but refused medical attention and returned to the drug house.

Kelly said on the day of the attack, Ruse showed up at his parents home while his mother was alone because his father was out getting the oil changed on the couple’s Chevrolet Equinox. Although he was supposed to call before coming over and his parents days before had refused to give him the $200 he needed for pretrial diversion to keep him out of jail for another crime, she allowed him to stay and he asked to use the bathroom.

However, when her back was turned he came up behind her and struck her with a hammer. When his father walked in, Ruse attacked him as well. While Gene Ruse lay mortally wounded, Scott Ruse took his wallet and the vehicle. Police used OnStar, a location service, to find the vehicle and Ruse and took him into custody. He had a large amount of blood on his outer clothing and officers found a bloody hammer inside the vehicle, according to court documents.

Ruse told the judge he agreed with all that had been said about him.

Another cousin, Kristine Kurtz, described the destruction that Ruse’s actions have had on his son, who has the same name and will graduate in the spring with a doctorate degree in physical therapy.

“Scotty deserves to be free of his father’s parasitic, evil influence,” Kurtz said.

Sandra Ruse didn’t speak before her son’s sentencing, but attended with other family members.

After the hearing, Duwain Meyers, who is married to Ruse’s aunt, said he hoped to send Ruse a copy of the book, “Unbroken,” about former Olympic track star Louis Zamperini’s ordeals in World War II, including his time in a Japanese POW camp. Zamperini is described in the book as becoming a changed man after attending a Rev. Billy Graham meeting. Meyers said he sees that Ruse has changed as well.