A former Taneytown woman who served 10 months in jail for suffocating her 4-month-old daughter in 1996 was acquitted yesterday of damaging the inside of a police car after her arrest on charges of violating probation in October.
District Judge Marc G. Rasinsky found Lisa E. Ruby, 21, not guilty of the malicious destruction of a police car, saying he was not "convinced beyond reasonable doubt that she intended to damage the vehicle."
Ruby, who lives in Westminster, was convicted of manslaughter and child abuse in the death of Tabitha Meekins. In August 1996, she led police to the infant's body under a pile of leaves near Prettyboy Reservoir in northern Baltimore County.
Ruby was arrested Oct. 30 on charges of violating probation for allegedly failing to continue treatment at a Westminster rehabilitation center.
Attorney Brian Green, a public defender representing Ruby, said his client experienced a panic attack when she was handcuffed and placed in the back of an unmarked car by Carroll Sheriff's Deputy Robert Letmate.
Letmate testified that Ruby was out of control, kicking the console between the car's front seats six to eight times. He said he warned her to stop but that she continued, dislodging the console from the floor.
Prosecutor Edward J. Puls Jr. said repairs cost more than $200.
Green cited a 1995 appellate case in which a juvenile ripped a radio microphone from an officer's uniform and was found innocent on charges of malicious destruction because he had no specific intent to damage the microphone. The damage occurred as a result of his trying to keep from being handcuffed and placed under arrest, Green said.
Ruby testified that she did not remember anything after being placed in the car until she arrived at the Detention Center.
Puls argued that Ruby knew exactly what she was doing, that "she knew, or should have known what would happen if she continued to kick the console."
Despite yesterday's acquittal, Ruby remained at the county jail without bail pending a hearing May 11 on the alleged probation violation.
Ruby was convicted of drunken driving last week in Baltimore County. She was sentenced to time served, meaning the 63 days she was held in a Baltimore County jail after being arrested Dec. 16.
In June, Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. made Ruby's probation conditional on her attending the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program at the Granite House Inc., a Westminster treatment center for adults, and on her taking prescribed medication.
Patricia A. Branch, Ruby's probation agent, filed a violation-of-probation report Oct. 28, saying Ruby had not attended Granite House daily since the first week of October. Burns signed a warrant for her arrest.
Pub Date: 2/26/98