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In a major development in the Scott Ruffalo case, the woman who was being held for the shooting death of Mark Ruffalo's brother has been released and cleared of any wrongdoing.
Beverly Hills police released 26-year-old Shaha Mishaal Adham just after 11 p.m. Tuesday after determining that she was not a murderer but instead an unfortunate—and fleeing—witness to the self-inflicted shooting death of 39-year-old Scott Ruffalo.
"There will be no criminal filing at this time regarding this matter, and Shaha Mishaal Adham will hopefully rebuild her tarnished reputation," her attorney, Ronald Richards, told E! News.
Richards made the media rounds yesterday, a day after Scott Ruffalo succumbed to a gunshot wound to the head when he was taken off life support, insisting the hairstylist had a history of playing Russian roulette while "under the use of controlled substances." The lawyer said the game turned deadly Dec. 1, when Ruffalo was discovered by paramedics.
It's unclear what evidence Adham's attorney had to clear his client, but he spent five hours in conference with the Beverly Hills P.D. Tuesday night, leading to her release.
He said his client was a friend of Scott Ruffalo's and had gone to his apartment last Monday to retrieve her car keys, only to find herself in the wrong place at the very wrong time—Richards said Adham witnessed Ruffalo shoot himself and then fled the scene.
"That was a mistake, but it doesn't make her a murderer," Richards tells E! News. "It was really like a horrible nightmare. She regrets not calling the police or an ambulance, but she was under high stress."
She eventually surrendered to police on Monday, just hours before Ruffalo's death. No charges will be filed against her. A second "person of interest," Brian B. Scofield, was also released Monday after turning himself in for questioning. He will not will face any charges in the incident, either.
The Ruffalo family issued a statement on the matter last night, thanking fans for their "outpouring of prayers and support during this most difficult time."
The funeral service will be kept private.
(Originally published Dec. 10, 2008 at 8:08 a.m. PT)