Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Fred Russell Sentencing Hearing Live on KXLY

UPDATE: NWCN lost the feed. Check out KXLY Channel 4.

If you can tune in you can see the victim impact statements being read at this time.

The state just rested the victim statements. Some comments include:

Rich Morrow, father of Stacey who died in the car wreck, said to Russell it is time for you to stop trying to save your skin and work on saving your soul.

Matthew Wegner "Just say you're sorry".

On the side of Russell, several people will speak for him, including Fred Russell himself.

Russell's mother asked the system not hold him accountable for someone elses' actions [the defense claims it was someone else who caused the car accident].

Lee Higginson, says he owns a Pullman business. Stated that Russell was employed with him during the time of the accident. Says he is impressed with the man Russell has become since the incident. Says Russell is a value to society and putting him away from the maximum amount of time would not benefit society.

Francisco Duarte, Russell's Attorney, explains to the court about the positions the defense has taken. He said that people feel the defenses approach seems to be uncaring. He said he is very sorry and "FDR is very sorry". Says that Russell wishes he has died instead of the others in the crash.

The defense attorney is making Russell out to be "one of us". He is trying to put a human face on Russell. Trying to make him out to be something other than what has been painted in the media and peoples' minds. He is asking the judge think about how many people in Washington drink and drive each day. When they leave Cougar sporting events. During the Christmas season.

The attorney believes that a law should be made that with ANY alcohol consumption driving would be a crime. He then eluded to the fact that everyone in the courtroom is not in Russell's defense seat, but they all did what he did at some point (drive after drinking).

He wants to have the judge think about the fact Russell was 21 when this happened. And now Russell is 29 and is a different person. [He may be different, but he still has a price to pay for his actions.]

Pointing out that Frazier cannot legislate from the bench. That the law says that the sentences must run concurrently not consecutively. Also asks that if people want this to change it should be done through the legislature. Through zero tolerance policies [we know what I think about zero tolerance!]

Russell is facing the people who came to the courtroom to watch the proceedings. Said he is not going to ask for forgiveness and doesn't expect that people will understand. Apologises for how long everything has taken. He has made eye contact with the family members of the people who have died. He said the victims' names. He didn't say sorry, he said today is about "them" the people who died and were hurt. Said he is sorry for their loss.

Said he lit a candle for each of the "children" he killed at least once a month while he was over in Ireland. He thinks about it everyday.

[Unless I missed it, and the audio was not great, he has not said he is sorry for doing it. Which is what people want to hear. But I think that is purposeful. They are staying with the fact it wasn't his fault, so saying sorry would make it seem like he is liable.]

1 comment:

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

"He wants to have the judge think about the fact Russell was 21 when this happened. And now Russell is 29 and is a different person. [He may be different, but he still has a price to pay for his actions.]"

Hrm, yeah.

I'm going to call my creditors and say, "hey, when I borrowed that money, I was a different person. You shouldn't expect me to pay it back now because I've changed."

I'll add Duarte to my "never, ever hire for services" list.