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New Evidence Prompts Acquittal of Convicted ‘Torso Murderer’

May 22, 1993 GMT

NEW BLOOMFIELD, Pa. (AP) _ DNA evidence helped clear a former Boy Scout leader convicted in the 1984 dismemberment slaying of a woman whose headless torso was found on a riverbank.

″I never doubted for a moment that it would happen,″ Donald Ruby said Friday, a day after he was acquitted in his second trial. ″The question was, when?″

He spent six years in prison since after his 1987 conviction in the slaying of Edna M. Posey.

Ruby was legal guardian of Posey’s teen-age son. At the first trial, prosecutors claimed he was a pedophile who killed the woman to prevent her from reclaiming custody of the boy.

Jurors in the retrial concluded Ruby’s former lawyer was ineffective because he failed to object to the pedophile evidence, which was ruled inadmissable at the second trial.

They also were shown DNA evidence, unavailable in 1987, that proved semen found in the corpse was not Ruby’s.

Ruby, 48, testified he never saw Posey after May 26, 1984. Her headless, limbless torso was found the next day beside the Juniata River in south- central Pennsylvania. No murder weapon or witnesses to the killing were found.

Ruby said he assumed legal guardianship of Posey’s son when Posey was undergoing psychiatric care. Ruby was the boy’s former Boy Scout troop leader.

On Friday, he said he had ″about $5 in my pocket right now,″ but had no plans to seek compensation for the wrongful conviction.