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Saturday, February 10, 2018 1:00 am

Guilty plea in hammer rampage

Father slain, mother injured

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne man admitted Friday he attacked his parents with a hammer inside their southwest Fort Wayne home last summer, killing his father and badly injuring his mother.

Scott L. Ruse, 51, pleaded guilty in Allen Superior Court to murder and attempted murder.

A plea agreement leaves the sentencing up to Judge John Surbeck, but calls for the sentences for the two crimes to be served back to back.

Murder has a sentencing range of 45 to 65 years, and attempted murder has a range of 20 to 40 years. That means Ruse could get up to 105 years when he is sentenced March 12.

Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss two counts of robbery and one count of felony murder at sentencing. A jury trial for June 12 was canceled.

Ruse said Friday he was on drugs when he attacked his parents, Gene and Sandra Ruse, with a hammer July 5 at their home at 3309 Homestead Road, between Covington and Aboite Center roads. He said he planned to kill them all along, but when he realized what he had done, he “panicked” and took their car.

Ruse was found about an hour after the assault in Whitley County driving his parents' vehicle. His clothes were bloody, and officers found a bloody hammer in the car. A police report said he was driving to his drug dealer to buy crack cocaine after the attack.

Ruse told the judge Friday he has tried to kill himself in the past and has been in and out of drug rehabilitation programs.

He said he understood what he was doing by pleading guilty.

jchapman@jg.net