Voluntary Manslaughter Convict Continues to Abide by Plea Agreement

A Baltimore man convicted of manslaughter in the death of 49-year-old Theophilus Ruffin more than six years ago continues to abide by the mental health requirements as designated in his plea agreement.

Melvin Russell, 35, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2017 after accepting a plea in 2016 for approximately one year and four months with five years of supervised probation. In 2020, Russell then pleaded guilty to violating probation and was assigned to mental health court.

During mental health court on Jan. 12, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Gail E. Rasin and defense attorney Sharon Bogins Eberhart said they were pleased with Russell’s progress and improved attendance at scheduled appointments.

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” Judge Rasin said.

Russell, the son of a former Baltimore Police Commissioner, has a documented history of schizophrenia. He was charged in connection to the fatal stabbing of Ruffin, who was his roommate, on Aug. 31, 2015.

The defendant will return to mental health court for another status hearing on Feb. 9.