A Tift County jury convicted Ruby Evans Thursday of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Sunday Blombergh.
After Evans' attorney, John Aspinwall of Waycross, told Superior Court Judge Melanie Cross that Evans wanted to go ahead and be sentenced, Cross handed down a sentence of life with the possibility of parole on the murder charge and 10 years on the conspiracy charge.
Ruby Evans' husband, Herman Evans, pleaded guilty to Blombergh's murder in July 2011 and testified at Ruby's trial earlier this week that she had repeatedly urged him to kill Blombergh, who was the estranged wife of Ruby's son, Theo, and was the mother of Ruby's grandchild.
Blombergh's body was found May 27, 2010, in Colquitt County near the Tift County line. Ruby Evans had reported her missing from their home on Briarwood Lane on April 26.
"She was pressing me to kill her," District Attorney Paul Bowden said Herman Evans testified. "If you loved me you'd do it… If you were a man you'd do it."
Bowden said in his closing statements that Ruby Evans was obsessed with killing Blombergh as a way of keeping the grandchild near her as early as March 2010, when Theo Conoly came for a visit.
"He told his mother that Sunday had asked him to hit his mother up to get money for drugs," said Bowden. "This kicked off the conversation between them: She needs to go."
Bowden showed the jury a photo of Blombergh while she was alive, hung it on an easel and placed a picture of Blombergh's badly decomposed body next to it. "They took her from this (indicating the picture of an attractive young woman) and took her to this (pointing to the other photo)." Members of Blombergh's family wept at the sight of the second picture.
Bowden said Ruby Evans was like a chess player, manipulating first Theo and then Herman. Later, he said, she tried to manipulate law enforcement by reporting a gun that she still had stolen and telling them that Blombergh was missing when she knew that Herman had killed her.
"It seems apparent that Ruby never missed an opportunity to tell someone what a bad mother Sunday was," Bowden said.
"…Sunday had her issues. But was she as bad as Ruby would have everybody believe? I suspect not."
The monster in this case, said Bowden, was Ruby Evans.
During the sentencing phase, Blombergh's mother asked to speak. She turned and spoke directly to Evans. "You have successfully destroyed a little girl (the grandchild)," she said. "What, if anything did you gain from it?"
Before pronouncing the sentence, Cross said she had seen what Blombergh's family suffered during the trial. "What (the child) has been through, what she has lost, cannot ever be made up," she said.
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