Fred Russell Could Face 10 to 14 Years In Prison After Jury Finds Him GuiltyPosted: Updated:
KELSO, Wash. (AP) - Frederick Russell faces 10 to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced in Whitman County after being convicted of all six charges against him in connection with a 2001 car crash that killed three Washington State University students.
One Russell lawyer, Diego Vargas, said the verdict would be appealed.
No sentencing date has been set.
Lawyers from both sides met with jurors privately after the verdict Tuesday in Kelso.
Vargas said jurors told the lawyers they were initially split 6-6, but reached a unanimous decision after more than 10 hours of deliberation.
Hank Clements, the father of Brandon Clements, one of those killed, hugged other family members after the verdict was read in Kelso Tuesday afternoon and said "We got him."
Some victims' relatives cried. The 28-year-old Russell closed his eyes briefly, and clenched his jaw when the first guilty verdict was read.
Russell was convicted of three counts of vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault in the crash that also badly injured three other Washington State University students.
Russell fled to Ireland after being accused of causing the car wreck.
Russell was accused of being drunk, speeding, and trying to pass in a no-passing zone when his vehicle slammed head-on into another car on June 4, 2001, on State Route 270 which is the highway between the two college towns of Pullman, Washington and Moscow, Idaho.
After his arrest and release on bail in 2001, Russell went to Ireland, where he was found in 2005 after making the U.S. Marshals service's "Most Wanted" list.
He was extradited to the United States in 2006.
The case was moved to Southwest Washington's Cowlitz County for trial because of extensive news coverage in Eastern Washington.