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CARTER v. BUSCHER

April 26, 1991

LISA RUHL CARTER, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF RAYMOND JOHN RUHL, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALFRED E. BUSCHER, WARDEN AT VANDALIA CORRECTIONAL CENTER, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:

OPINION

Civil rights action.

The facts are singular.

Cross-motions for summary judgment.

Judgment for Defendants.

Case closed.

I. Facts

Plaintiff's husband, Raymond Ruhl, was being investigated by the ISP in January, 1988, for solicitation to murder his wife — the Plaintiff. In fact, during the investigation Plaintiff was offered and accepted protective custody by the ISP. With the assistance of a co-conspirator, Roger Arkebauer, the police obtained sufficient evidence to authorize Ruhl's arrest. See Arkebauer v. Kiley, 751 F. Supp. 783 (C.D.Ill. 1990).

Ruhl worked as a correctional officer at the Vandalia Correctional Center. Ruhl was also believed by the ISP to run a gun shop out of his home and had been heard to brag that he was always armed — even while working at the prison in violation of DOC regulations.

On January 15, 1988, ISP agents Virgil Lee Bensyl, David P. McLearin, and Tamara J. Byers, with the assistance of their superior officers, planned the arrest of Ruhl for the solicitation to murder his wife. Michael Heltsley and Michael McKinney, internal investigators for the DOC, were also asked to assist in Ruhl's arrest.

The police consciously chose not to attempt Ruhl's arrest at his home because of his ready access to guns. Further, because Ruhl allegedly was armed at the prison where he worked, and the police would have had to surrender their guns before entering the prison, they chose not to arrest him at the prison. Instead, the police, with the assistance of Alfred Buscher, Vandalia's warden, devised a scheme in which Buscher would contact Ruhl at home and ask him to assist the niece of a fellow warden (played by Byers) whose car had broken down near Ruhl's home.

At approximately 6:00 p.m. Ruhl approached the scene from the south, made a U-turn, and parked approximately 15 feet behind Byers' vehicle on the west side of the highway. Byers, posing as a stranded motorist, approached Ruhl's vehicle and spoke with Ruhl through the open, driver's side window. Ruhl refused to leave his car which he left running with the transmission in gear.

When Ruhl refused to leave his car, Bensyl also walked back to Ruhl's car. McLearin at this time signaled Heltsley and McKinney to move in as back up. When Bensyl arrived at Ruhl's vehicle he stood slightly behind and to the left of Byers at the driver's side window. ...


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