The trial of a Dubuque man who pleaded not guilty to killing a Bellevue woman and her unborn child while allegedly driving while drunk in 2019 has been delayed for a fourth time.
Once again, court officials say the delay is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Ruggeberg family, the trial for John Hoffman, age 70, who was charged in the District Court of Dubuque County with homicide by vehicle, non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy and serious injury by vehicle in relation to the crash that killed Hannah Ruggeberg, who was 28 weeks pregnant at the time, has been moved to May 11, 2021.
It had originally been scheduled to start March 30, 2020, which was about five months after the accident. Because of the pandemic, it was re-scheduled for July 7, 2020. Then, the trial was re-scheduled a third time to January 5, 2021, 14 months after the accident which killed the two Bellevue residents.
If the trial is not rescheduled on May 11, it will have been a year and a half after the tragic accident.
In the meantime, Jessica Ruggeberg, the mother of Hannah and grandmother to Hannah’s unborn child, said that the alleged criminal is out walking the streets, and has been since he posted $250,000 cash bond a year ago on January, 28, 2020.
"I believe what a lot of people don't realize is that this man, who murdered my daughter and grandson, is still not yet behind bars. He is free to live his life, while my family has to suffer the consequences of his actions,” said Ruggeberg. “When will justice be served? I just pray that he doesn't make the same mistake again and do this to another family."