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Aurora woman accused of firing pistol at crowbar-wielding
romantic rival is cleared of weapons charges
Tribune staff report
January 17, 2008
An Aurora woman who said she fired a pistol to fend off a crowbar-wielding romantic rival was acquitted of weapons charges Wednesday in Kane County. A teary-eyed Rebecca Ruffin, 28, and her attorney Kathleen Colton silently mouthed "thank you" to the jury that found her not guilty after a three-day trial before Judge Timothy Sheldon. She had been charged with four counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm following an altercation with Latasha M. Bell, 23, of Bloomingdale on Jan. 15, 2007, outside Ruffin's Aurora apartment.
Both women have children by the same man, and Bell drove to Ruffin's apartment to see the man that morning. Bell testified that when he refused, via cell phone, to come outside, she got a crowbar from her trunk and began smashing his car windows. Ruffin said that she came outside when she heard the sound of breaking glass and that Bell tried to run her down with her car.
Bell pleaded guilty to property-damage charges last week, but charges that she allegedly tried to run down Ruffin with her car were dropped.
Assistant Kane County State's Atty. Elizabeth Lovig told the jury that Ruffin chose to ratchet up the confrontation by coming outside with a gun.