Two sentenced in trucker slaying

| 9/19/2001

One of two men accused of killing a Georgia truckdriver has been sentenced to life in prison, while the other pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for additional charges dropped against him, The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier reported.

Mikal Jermaine Ruffin was found guilty of murder and armed robbery. Steven Eugene Parker, who had been charged with murder and other crimes, pleaded guilty to being an accessory in a plea bargain. Parker was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ruffin, Parker and Gaderria Leon Ross attempted to hold up driver Robert Best and shot co-driver Scott Carpenter at a truckstop parking lot off Interstate 85 near Blacksburg, SC, in 1998, the newspaper reported. Carpenter was shot once in the head with a small-caliber gun. Ross entered a plea agreement earlier this year to avoid the death penalty. He pleaded guilty to murder, assault with intent to kill, attempted armed robbery and firearms charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.