UPDATE 4:35 P.M.: The court adjourned for the day to give the defense an opportunity to review records that are planned to be submitted tomorrow. The trial is scheduled to resume at approximately 9 a.m. tomorrow, June 29. OzarksFirst will continue to bring you coverage of the trial when it resumes Wednesday.

UPDATE 2:45 P.M.: Tamile Montague, the adoptive mother of Savannah Leckie, was called to testify in her experience while having Savannah and why she was staying with Ruud.

Montague in her testimony said Savannah had been diagnosed with depression, ADHD and aspergers, and had been hospitalized related to her depression twice while staying with Montague, one stay related to self-harm.

Montague said she began looking for alternative housing for Savannah after she became combative at home. After asking David Leckie to take in Savannah and being refused, David Leckie made contact with Rebecca Ruud to see if she would take care of her.

Montague said she didn’t want to give up her parental rights permanently, but had experienced issues with Savannah fighting Montague and her other children. Savannah was sent to stay with Ruud short-term with the intention of getting her behavior back on track.

Savannah didn’t express difficulty with living with Ruud, Montague said.

UPDATE: Robert Peat Jr. testified this afternoon that the day Savannah went missing, he and Rebecca Ruud were looking for her, and Ruud reported Savannah missing.

Peat Jr. and Ruud are still married and he testified that Rebecca never told him that she burned Savannah’s body or did anything with it.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The trial for an Ozark County woman who is accused of killing and dismembering her teenage daughter began Monday morning in a Greene County courtroom. Rebecca Ruud is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence, and abandonment of a corpse.

On Monday, Ruud’s defense attorneys acknowledged that Ruud admitted to burning her 16-year-old daughter Savannah Leckie’s body in 2017, but said Ruud did not kill Leckie. It was Ruud who reported Leckie missing from their home near Theodosia.

Also on Monday prosecutors played a recording between Rebecca Ruud and her lawyer where Ruud admits to burning her daughter’s body. On the tape, Ruud said her daughter killed herself. Ruud then admitted to finding her body and taking it to a burn pile.

Ruud’s bench trial is expected to last until Wednesday or Thursday. Prosecutors said they will call Robert Peat, Jr. to the stand. Ruud married Peat Jr. the day Leckie’s remains were found. He is currently facing the same charges as Ruud. A trial date has not been set for Peat Jr.

Since this is a bench trial, Greene County Judge Calvin Holden will make a ruling based on the evidence and will hand down the sentence. Holden may rule the week of the trial but can also take the case under advisement and rule at a later time.