BLACKFOOT — Eugene Ralph Ruff, 63, of Aberdeen was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison Monday morning for killing his wife in their home last year.
The sentence from Seventh District Judge Darren Simpson came down after Ruff agreed to a plea deal on a lesser second-degree murder charge with Bingham County prosecutors, with prosecutors agreeing not to seek a death penalty.
Ruff could be eligible for parole after an 18-year fixed jail term.
Ruff was charged with first-degree murder last summer after his wife, Bettilee Ruff, 62, was found shot to death at their Aberdeen home.
With family members in the courtroom, Ruff's voice was shaking as he told the judge he was extremely remorseful and that he had killed his "best friend."
Further details on the sentencing will appear later today and in the Tuesday morning edition of the Bingham County Chronicle.