Russell murder trial begins
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Sep 05, 2012 | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<i>Franklin Clark/Cadiz Record<p>
Detective Sergeant Sam Steeger of the Kentucky State Police (left) looks on while 56th Circuit Commonwealth's Attorney G.L. Ovey (center) shows the murder weapon, a .357-caliber revolver. Defense Attorney John Stewart (right) had questions about a blue fiber that was reportedly found on the firearm. Ovey also called Shaniqua Acree (bottom left) to the stand last week.</i>
Franklin Clark/Cadiz Record

Detective Sergeant Sam Steeger of the Kentucky State Police (left) looks on while 56th Circuit Commonwealth's Attorney G.L. Ovey (center) shows the murder weapon, a .357-caliber revolver. Defense Attorney John Stewart (right) had questions about a blue fiber that was reportedly found on the firearm. Ovey also called Shaniqua Acree (bottom left) to the stand last week.

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“The nature of the crime is murder,” 56th Circuit Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey told jurors in his opening statement last Wednesday afternoon in the trial of Claude Russell.

Russell, 35, is accused in the June 25, 2002, murder of Chantell Humphries.

In his 40-minute opening statement, Ovey said Humphries was found in a field in Cerulean owned by farmer David Wells and talked about how Russell often changed his story during the multiple interviews he gave to investigators.

After two full days and one half day, the prosecution had called 15 of its planned 35 witnesses.

After Labor Day and a judicial furlough day on Tuesday, the trial will start back at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Still on the stand will be Kentucky State Police Steve Bryan, who spent much of day on Friday on the stand as the jurors saw photographs and video of the crime scene, including extreme and graphic close-ups of Humphries’ body, during which the courtroom was quiet, save for the occasional cough or camera click.

Before the tapes were played, Bryan told jurors about the crime scene and evidence recovered at the scene, including shell casings, one live round, and other items that were found near the body of victim Chantell Humphries in the field. He said one of the shell casings had a fingerprint on it.

For the rest of this story, see this week's issue of The Cadiz Record or subscribe to our e-Edition by calling 270-522-6605.
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