Court documents show woman killed in Newport double homicide previously filed protection order against suspect

Newport murder records
Posted at 9:47 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 00:11:00-04

NEWPORT, Ky. — Court documents show one of the women killed in a double homicide in Newport had previously filed a protection order against the man accused of murdering her and her friend.

Eric Lightfoot, 59, was charged with two counts of murder after police found 59-year-old Sheila Ruf and 61-year-old Diana Eddy dead inside a home on Ann Street March 16. A prosecutor said the two women were beaten to death, found after a property manager let officers in for a wellness check.

Ruf had filed a protection order in Campbell County Court in mid-January, alleging Lightfoot would hit and kick her, often coming in drunk and saying he was "going to kill her." One week later, police said Lightfoot violated the order by showing up at her home.

Court documents show Ruf dismissed the protection order one month later.

About one month after Ruf dismissed the order, Eddy texted her daughter, telling her she was with Ruf and a man was there. Eddy said the man "might do something crazy." Her daughter called police the next day, but officers could not get into the home. Three days later, they found Eddy and Ruf dead.

Kristin Shrimplin, president of Women Helping Women, said she believes the case highlights a disturbing trend of domestic violence.

"Domestic violence is a public health epidemic, that’s the bad news," Shrimplin said. "One out of three women are experiencing this type of violence in their lifetime."

Women Helping Women helped 7,500 survivors in Hamilton, Butler, Adams and Brown County in 2021. Shrimplin said that number is just the "tip of the iceberg."

"That's the message for all of us to hear loud and clear," Shrimplin said. "If anyone ever discloses violence to you, please tell them immediately you're not alone. It's not your fault. I believe you. If you want it, there's help available."

Ruf's niece said her aunt loved life and everyone she was around, her family remembering her by her caring smile.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you can call your local police department or contact Women Helping Women's 24/7 hotline at 513-381-5610.

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