Man pleads guilty to 2022 double-murder of NKY women

Detectives found the women dead on March 16, 2022, near The Brighton Center.
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 8:20 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 4:18 PM EDT
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Video from previous coverage.

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges in a 2022 double murder in Campbell County.

Eric Lightfoot beat his ex-girlfriend Sheila Ruf and her friend, Diana Eddy, in March 2022, according to Newport police.

The guilty plea is bringing some comfort to Ruf’s brother, Troy Harper, but he hopes his sister’s story inspires other domestic violence victims to leave their abusers.

“I never imagined anything like this happening to my family at all,” Harper says of his sister’s death.

Detectives found 59-year-old Ruf and 61-year-old Eddy dead on March 16 near The Brighton Center.

“It comes as a shock,” explains Harper. “I never thought he would take it that far, to be honest with you. I didn’t think he’d kill my sister.

Court documents show both women suffered multiple hits to the head that likely resulted in their deaths.

Harper says throughout the court hearings, Lightfoot showed no remorse.

“I’d like to say I’d like to see him get death, but I don’t think that’s good enough,” said Harper on Tuesday. “I think he should have to remember what he did for the rest of his life.”

Shelia Ruf
Shelia Ruf (Provided by family)

Harper says his sister and Lightfoot had an on-again-off-again relationship.

“I know my sister sees the best in everybody, so I know she was hoping something would change there,” Harper explains.

Ruf filed for a protective order against Lightfoot at one point but later dropped it, according to police.

“It was obvious she was scared, or she wouldn’t have Diane there,” said Harper. “Two women looking out for each other.”

Harper wants Ruf, who was a mother to three daughters, to be remembered for being a good-hearted woman.

He also wants people to pay attention to her story before it is too late.

“I want to see other women to see what he did to my sister, and they get out of their abusive relationships if they are in one and will stop dropping emergency protection orders,” said Harper.

If you or anyone you know needs help, the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. You can also text START to 88788.

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