FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The murder charge against a Fairmont man has been dropped after police said they determined the death of his girlfriend to be ruled a suicide, according to a press release from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
The release stated at on Tuesday, October 15, the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office received the autopsy report of Crystal Stevens, who died on July 24, 2019.
Clifton Ruggs, 27, of Fairmont, was arrested and charged with first degree murder in July. A criminal complaint filed by the Fairmont Police Department claimed that Ruggs strangled Stevens with a shoestring at their home on Maryland Avenue in Fairmont. However, the murder charge has been dropped following the conclusion made on Stevens’ autopsy report.
The release states that the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner concluded, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that Stevens’ death was a suicide. As a result, after conferring with Stevens’ parents and both Chief Steve Shine and Detective Tyler Hall of the Fairmont Police Department, Marion County Prosecuting Attorney dismissed the first degree murder charge against Ruggs, according to the release.
The release stated that while the evidence gathered by the Fairmont Police Department investigation more than supported probable cause to believe Ruggs murdered Stevens, the suicide conclusion by the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner eliminated any possibility of successfully prosecuting the case further.