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Park City man sent to prison in murder-for-hire case

Park City man sent to prison in murder-for-hire case

(Wasatch County Sheriff's Office)


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HEBER CITY — A Park City man who tried to hire an undercover officer to kill his ex-wife's boyfriend has been sentenced to prison.

Dustin Wade Ruffino, 45, was ordered Wednesday to serve one to 15 years in prison for his conviction of attempted criminal solicitation, a second-degree felony.

In January 2014, a Wasatch County sheriff's lieutenant who was working undercover bought drugs from Ruffino. During the drug deal, the lieutenant was told Ruffino wanted to hire someone to kill the man who was dating Ruffino's ex-wife, charging documents state.

After the initial meeting with Ruffino, the lieutenant called a sergeant working for a sheriff's office on the Wasatch Front. The sergeant agreed to go undercover as "the potential hitman."

When the sergeant met Ruffino, their one-hour conversation began with Ruffino "passionately describing the situation" with his ex-wife, her boyfriend and himself, the sergeant wrote. The sergeant said when he asked Ruffino how he wanted the situation resolved, Ruffino responded, "I want him gone."

The sergeant said he had Ruffino clarify that "gone" meant "dead," and told him the job would cost $1,500. Ruffino offered him $100 worth of tools as a down payment, the charges state. Then he took the sergeant to the house where the intended victim lived before the men parted ways.

At Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Judge Roger Griffin denied a defense request to reduce the charge against Ruffino from a second-degree felony to a third-degree felony. Griffin did agree, however, to recommend that the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole give Ruffino credit for the 372 days he has served in the Wasatch County Jail since his arrest.

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Geoff Liesik

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