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More charges for ex-deputy in Ohio cold case killing

Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 @ 8:19 PM
Updated: Friday, January 30, 2015 @ 10:41 PM
By: Frazier Smith - Breaking News Staff

UPDATE, Jan. 30, 2015:

A former Washington County sheriff's deputy charged with aggravated murder in the 1981 Ohio cold case killing of a former deputy now faces additional charges.

Mitchell Ruble, 64, of Lowell, Ohio, has been jailed since his arrest Sept. 9, 2014, in the death of deputy Lt. Ray "Joe" Clark."

This week, a Washington County grand jury indicted Ruble on five felony counts of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance; one count of illegal manufacture or processing of explosives; and one count of attempted illegal manufacture or processing of explosives, the Ohio Attorney General's Office announced tonight.

The charges come as a result of the murder investigation that led to Ruble's arrest in September. While searching Ruble's home, authorities found a modified AR-15 fully automatic rifle, hand grenades, three dozen grenade fuses/blasting caps and a blast simulator overpack.

Attorney General Mike Dewine described the items as "illegal, military-grade explosives."

Ruble remains held on $2.5 million bond awaiting a May murder trial, which will be prosecuted by DeWine's special prosecutions section. Ruble is scheduled to appear next month on the new charges.

Clark was shot to death Feb. 7, 1981, at this Marietta home. Investigators allege that Ruble waited outside Clark's home and shot him with a shotgun through a kitchen window.

Ruble worked as a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff's Office until December 1979, when Clark fired him for use of excessive force.

FIRST REPORT, Sept. 14, 2014:

A former Washington County sheriff's deputy is in jail, charged in the 1981 Ohio cold case killing of a fellow deputy.

Mitchell Ruble, 63, of Lowell, Ohio, was arrested Tuesday and is in the Washington County Jail on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of Deputy Lt. Ray "Joe" Clark.

The indictment, returned Tuesday morning by a county grand jury, follows an investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office's Cold Case Squad, with assistance from Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents working as part of Attorney General Mike DeWine's Ohio Unsolved Homicides Initiative.

Lt. Clark was 49 when he was shot to death Feb. 7, 1981, at his home in Marietta on Dodd's Run Road. Investigators said Ruble waited outside his former colleague's home and used a shotgun to fire through the kitchen window. Ruble was a Washington County sheriff's deputy until December 1979, when Lt. Clark terminated his employment because of the use of excessive force while on duty.

Sheriff Larry Mincks Sr. said, "We do believe that revenge was the motive for this crime."

The sheriff noted that "finding out who killed Lt. Clark has always been a top priority of this office, and today I am feeling great relief that Mr. Ruble, who has long been a suspect in this case, will be brought to justice. Lt. Clark was a talented law enforcement officer who was dedicated to protecting his community, and we hope he will be able to rest easier now that the person responsible for his death is behind bars."

DeWine, whose office announced the arrest, said, "In this case, new evidence recently uncovered by local and state authorities was exactly what was needed to solve this crime. We hope today's arrest will help bring comfort, not only to Lieutenant Clark's family, but to other families affected by an unsolved crime. No matter how long ago a crime occurred, you should not give up hope that the case will be solved."

Prosecutors with DeWine's Special Prosecutions Section are prosecuting the case at the request of Washington County Prosecutor James Schneider. BCI's Special Investigations Unit, Criminal Intelligence Unit, and Crime Laboratory assisted the Washington County Sheriff's Office with the investigation.

Members of the Washington County Special Response Team arrested Ruble, who is in jail without bond pending an initial appearance in Marietta Municipal Court