Mistrial declared in Russell murder case
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Sep 12, 2012 | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<i>Franklin Clark/Cadiz Record<p>
On Friday afternoon, 56th Circuit Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey (above right) showed defendant Claude E. Russell (above left) a picture of the neighborhood where the Humphries residence was. Below, Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander pointed to a security tape from Maxfuel that shows that Russell entered that establishment on June 24, 2002, contrary to one of his initial statements.</i>
Franklin Clark/Cadiz Record

On Friday afternoon, 56th Circuit Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey (above right) showed defendant Claude E. Russell (above left) a picture of the neighborhood where the Humphries residence was. Below, Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander pointed to a security tape from Maxfuel that shows that Russell entered that establishment on June 24, 2002, contrary to one of his initial statements.

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After almost 10 hours of deliberation and roughly five and half days of testimony, the more than two-week-long trial of Claude Russell, the accused in the June 24, 2002, murder of Chantell Humphries, ended in a mistrial Monday night.

“We will almost certainly be doing this again,” said 56th Circuit Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey, although a date was not set. Ovey was not available for comment after the trial. Russell’s attorney, John Stewart of Adams, Tenn., said the verdict was a vindication of Ovey’s decision to dismiss the charges in March 2003, and added that it indicates that the Commonwealth failed to prove Russell’s guilt.

However, Stewart wasn’t sure if he’d be representing Russell at any future trials. “That’s a business decision,” he said. “We don’t look forward to trying it again, but we will if we have to.”

The jury was deadlocked at an 8–4 vote, but 56th Circuit Judge Clarence A. Woodall III asked the jury not to indicate in favor of which verdict. After one-hour closing statements by both Stewart and Ovey, deliberations started at approximately 11:37 a.m.

During his closing remarks, Stewart called the court “the great levelers.” He also asked that the jury “bring this fiasco to a screeching halt” by finding Russell not guilty.

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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