By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Criminal proceedings in a Canadian County double-murder case have been suspended after a judge found the defendant incompetent.
Norman’s Ronnie Lewis Miller III, 34, was charged in July 2018 with first-degree murder in Canadian County District Court.
Miller in March 2018 allegedly shot to death Shaun Dejon Ruddle, 39, and Cody Dwayne Early Jr., 23, in the 13900 block of Pennyworth Drive near Memorial and Morgan roads.
At a preliminary hearing in May 2021, Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass found probable cause that Miller – a convicted felon – committed the crime.
After being bound over for trial, the defendant was committed to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for care and treatment.
Last August, an application for determination for competency was filed on Miller’s behalf. In October, an order for mental observation and evaluation also was filed in district court.
The defendant on Jan. 5 appeared with attorney Craig Corgan for a post-examination competency hearing before Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse.
Both the defense and prosecution stipulated to the examination report, and no other evidence was admitted.
Judge Hesse found Miller incompetent and ordered the Department of Mental Health to provide treatment “for the purpose of the defendant achieving competency”, according to court minutes.
Criminal proceedings were suspended.
This case has been continued many times over the past 3-1/2 years, court records show.
In July 2019, Special Judge Khristan Strubhar approved Miller’s commitment to the Department of Mental Health for care and treatment.
BODIES FOUND IN SUV
Oklahoma City Police investigated the March 2018 homicides in eastern Canadian County.
Defendant Miller had planned to steal drugs and money from one of the victims and shot both Ruddle and Early in the head after one of them made fun of him, according to court documents.
The bodies of Ruddle and Early were discovered inside an SUV after it crashed into a neighborhood mailbox.
Miller allegedly told investigators he had planned to return to the scene to burn his victims’ bodies by blowing up the vehicle.
The defendant was serving time in a Cleveland County jail when he admitted to gunning down the two men several months earlier, court records indicate.
Miller spent several weeks hospitalized and was later jailed after a March 2018 shootout with Norman police that was captured on police body cam.
Miller’s Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ rap sheet stretches back to 2006.
When he was charged in the Canadian County double homicide, Miller already was serving a 20-year sentence in state prison for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, false declaration of ownership in pawn, convicted felon in possession of firearms, and pattern of criminal offenses.
The felon previously had been convicted in Cleveland, Muskogee, Grady, and Oklahoma counties for obstructing an officer, receiving stolen property, leaving the scene of an accident, larceny of motor vehicles, second-degree burglary, false personation, and larceny.