MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 2, 2013

Driver to pay $4,279 restitution in crash that took man's leg

He's to start payments after he finishes prison sentence

— A Muskogee man sentenced to prison for a near-deadly crash was ordered to pay more than $4,000 in restitution Wednesday.

Charles Edwin Ruffin, 25, agreed to pay $4,279 to Robert Cruce, who was injured in the Jan. 16, 2012, crash. Cruce was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and lost his right leg.

Ruffin, who was intoxicated at the time, fled from the crash scene, at U.S. 69 and Military Boulevard. He was arrested shortly thereafter at a house in the 400 block of 18th Street.

Muskogee County Assistant District Attorney Tim King said the restitution was to cover Cruce’s health care expenses after the crash.

“While insurance paid for the majority, Mr. Cruce did have some out-of-pocket expenses, as well as costs for things such as his helmet and some riding pants he had on that day,” King said.

The restitution order states that Ruffin must begin payments of $100 each month 30 days after his release from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Ruffin agreed to a plea deal in February in which he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence causing a personal injury accident. In return, he was sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by 12 years of supervised release.

He also received concurrent sentences of 20 years — eight in prison and 12 suspended — on a charge of possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, and an eight-year sentence on a count of child endangerment.

Cruce and his wife were in Associate District Judge Norman Thygesen’s courtroom briefly Wednesday, but they left before Ruffin entered. Ruffin has yet to be transferred to prison.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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