UPDATE: Murder charges dropped against Ruggs after girlfriend's death ruled suicide

Published: Jul. 24, 2019 at 3:59 PM EDT
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UPDATE 10/16/19 @ 3:45 p.m.

The charges pending against Clifton Ruggs for first degree murder were dropped Tuesday after his girlfriend's death was ruled a suicide.

According to the Marion county Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the autopsy report from the the Deputy Chief medical Examiner ruled the death of Crystal Stevens a suicide.

After conferring with Steven's parents, Fairmont Police Chief Steve Shine and Detective Tyler Hall, Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Freeman dismissed the charge of murder in the first degree against Ruggs.

The prosecuting attorney's office say while there was evidence developed by the investigation more than supported probable cause to believe Ruggs murdered Steven's, the suicide conclusion by the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner eliminated any possibility of prosecuting the case further.


A man was arrested after he allegedly killed his girlfriend between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

According the criminal complaint, Clifton Ruggs got into an argument with his girlfriend while he was at work.

According to police, the argument continued when Ruggs got home on the 700-block of Maryland Avenue. Both Ruggs and the victim where drinking during the argument.

According to the criminal complaint, Ruggs began choking the victim with a shoestring causing her death. Defensive wounds were observed on the victims body and scratch marks were observed on Ruggs' body.

According to police, the victim was identified as Crystal Stevens.

Ruggs has been charged first degree murder and is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail.