Greene County judge deciding the fate of Ozark County mother charged in death of daughter

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 3:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Greene County judge will decide the fate of an Ozark County woman accused of the death of her teenage daughter.

Judge Calvin Holden heard closing arguments Thursday afternoon in the trial of Rebecca Ruud. She faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of her daughter Savannah Leckie, 16, in 2017.

Investigators say killed Leckie, then burned her remains on an Ozark County farm. The state called two former inmates jailed with Ruud as key witnesses in the case on Wednesday. They testified she confessed in jail to the murder.

The defense argues she placed the teen’s body in a burn pile but did not kill her. They say Leckie committed suicide and Ruud panicked when she found her daughter dead.

Judge Holden said he should have a decision in the case in the next few weeks. Ruud could spend her entire life in prison for Leckie’s death.

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