- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Springfield man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for beating a mother of seven to death in a dispute over drugs.

The Republican newspaper (https://bit.ly/1IlQ5sO ) reports that Ronald Ruell Jr. was sentenced Tuesday in Hampden Superior Court to 25 years in prison for the February 2012 death of 38-year-old Judy Ramirez.

Prosecutors say the two had been using cocaine together.

Defense lawyer Calvin Carr said the 33-year-old Ruell did not plan to kill Ramirez, but beat her because he wanted to steal her crack cocaine. Ramirez died from a fractured sternum that caused internal bleeding.

Prosecutors say Ramirez’s blood was found on Ruell’s jeans.

The defense lawyer says Buell was abused as a child by foster parents, has mental health issues and drug and alcohol addictions.

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, https://www.masslive.com/news/

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