A Kelowna man convicted of second-degree murder has had an appeal of his conviction dismissed.
Daniel Ruff, 67, was convicted of second-degree murder in October 2017 for the June 14, 2015 death of his roommate Warren Welters.
Throughout the trial, Ruff claimed he was acting in self-defence when he struck his roommate in the head four times with a hammer and was not intending to kill him.
The jury sided with the Crown, finding Ruff guilty of second-degree murder. He was later sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for ten years.
In June, Ruff appealed his conviction, adding he was intoxicated at the time of the offense.
During his appeal, he said he was too drunk to form the intent to murder Welters, hoping for a conviction of manslaughter instead.
Ruff contended Justice Alison Beames erred in her instruction on those matters.
“You may find Mr. Ruff guilty of second-degree murder only if the Crown has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he had the intent required for that offence,” Beames told the jury during the 2017 trial.
“The mere fact that a person’s mind is affected by alcohol or drugs so that they lose inhibitions or act in a way in which they would not have done had they been sober is no excuse if the required intent is proved … In this case, you must decide whether the evidence of intoxication, along with all the other evidence, leaves you with a reasonable doubt whether Mr. Ruff had the intent required for murder at the time of the act.”
A Nov. 26 decision from the court of appeal found the judge’s instructions on intoxication and intent, and manslaughter were sufficient and the appeal was dismissed.
Ruff remains behind bars with no chance at parole until 2027.