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KS- Fugitive kills self

7-29-2006 Kansas:

.Sheriff's deputies standing on the porch while seeking a fugitive at 16511 Metcalf Ave., Stilwell, heard a gunshot. "When officers went into the home, they found Mr. Joey Carlton Ruttman, 29, in the bathroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Master Deputy Thomas Erickson said at the scene.

An emergency medical helicopter landed in the back yard about 2:15 p.m. Monday. The crew flew Ruttman, 29, unconscious and suffering from a head wound, to Overland Park Regional Medical Center, where he died at 5 p.m.

"He had been basically on the run since ... May 17 when he missed a court date on these new charges," Erickson said. Ruttman, a registered sex offender, had remained free on $50,000 bond related to charges dating to 2005: two counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of sodomy, Erickson said.

The crimes involved a 14-year-old neighbor girl. In 2003, a court convicted Ruttman on a charge of sexual exploitation of a 17-year-old girl. Actions involving the girl had been videotaped.

Ruttman's wife, Tosha Renae Ruttman, 26, pleaded guilty for her role in the 2003 sex exploitation case, then joined her husband in committing the 2005 crimes. Tosha is being held in the Johnson County Jail awaiting sentencing for her involvement in the 2005 crimes and for a parole violation related to her 2003 conviction.

Some people living near the Stilwell residence - drawn from their houses by law enforcement activity - said they knew nothing about sex crimes charges against Ruttman. "You never know; it could happen anywhere," neighbor Kristi Byerley said.

Neighbor Tammy Micke said she learned about Ruttman's case days earlier while using her computer. "We looked it up on the Internet," she said. "I haven't let my kids out since then." ..more.. : by

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