South County Briefly
Pierce County Superior Court Murder conviction: Warren Polk, 31, convicted yesterday of second-degree murder for killing Linda Ruffin, 22, who had left him to return to her husband.
Polk, 31, had been charged with first-degree murder, for which he could have faced up to 30 years in prison for the death of Linda Ruffin, four months pregnant when she was strangled Feb. 26. Instead, Polk faces up to 17 years when he is sentenced Oct. 25 by Judge Bruce Cohoe.
Testimony showed the love triangle began when Linda Ruffin, an Army private, was sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, to study for work as a medical laboratory technician. When her husband learned she was having an affair with Polk, an instructor, he complained to the Army and Polk was discharged.
Linda Ruffin then was assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis. Polk got a civilian job at a hospital in Kent, but before long Ruffin returned to her husband.
Polk, decorated several times by the Army, had no criminal record before he killed the woman and stuffed her body into a trunk that was found in his apartment a week after he fled the area.
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