A former Kadlec nurse accused of possessing hundreds of images of child pornography is back in custody after a judge increased his bail Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Jackie Shea Brown increased the bail for Darrin Ruddell, 47, of West Richland, to $175,000, court officials said. Ruddell had previously been out on $150,000 bail. His trial in Benton County is scheduled to begin June 6.
Ruddell’s attorney, John Jensen of Kennewick, was not available for comment Thursday morning.
Megan Whitmire, Benton County deputy prosecutor, said the hearing came after her repeated attempts to have Ruddell’s bail increased after it was lowered from an initial $250,000. Charges alleging Ruddell produced some of the pornography involving a Tri-City girl were filed in early April.
“It seemed appropriate,” Whitmire said of the bail increase request. “Frankly, I was surprised it was lowered in the first place.”
Ruddell has pleaded innocent to nine felony counts ranging from first-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of a controlled substance.