Defendant Refuses Transfer to DC Area Prison Due to Concerns for Safety

 A defendant refused to transfer to a prison in close to the DC area over safety concerns. His unwillingness to transfer is causing disturbances for his upcoming trial.

Levi Ruffin, 44, is currently serving an 18 years sentence for a sexual assault case that occurred in 2015. He is also being charged with 29 other charges, including first-degree burglary offenses committed during release while armed and against a minor, kidnapping offenses committed during release, three counts of threat to kidnap or injure a person while armed with one of those counts including an addition of offenses committed during release.

The charges continue with a number of assault charges including, assault with a dangerous weapon committed during release, assault with intent to commit robbery while armed that was committed during release, assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual abuse by force while armed that was committed during release, two counts of assault with significant bodily injury, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

 Ruffin also has a number of sexual abuse charges that include first-degree sexual abuse.

The defendant was found guilty of committing sex offenses against two or more victims while the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon, which was also committed during release and third-degree sex abuse.

During a status hearing on Jan. 25, Ruffin refused to be transferred to a DC area prison for preparation for trial because he said  his life would be in jeopardy.

These offenses allegedly occurred between December 1999 and 2000, on July 2, 2003, June 3, 2007, and Sept. 8, 2007, on the 1400 block of Fairmont Street, NW, the 1400 block of Euclid Street, NW, the 1700 block of Harvard Street NW, and the 1400 block of Columbia Road, NW. 

DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt explained that she had no authority over which DC area prison Ruffin would be transferred to. That decision lies with the Bureau of Prisons.

Judge Brandt also explained that Ruffin would need to be held in the DC area for his upcoming trial on Nov. 6. She also stated that if Ruffin wished to remain virtual, he could waive his right to a virtual trial and have a bench trial instead. 

Defense attorney Howard McEachern explained that he needed to confer with his client. 

McEachern said he had not been able to talk with Ruffin due to a change in Ruffin’s prison counselor in West Virginia. 

McEachern also said he is set to discuss matters with Ruffin sometime next week.

Judge Brandt said she expects a hearing to discuss DNA evidence and a preliminary trial readiness hearing to occur at the next hearing, which is scheduled on Feb. 15.

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