Thursday, July 12, 2007

A man accused of deliberately hitting three pedestrians was reportedly on supervised probation at the time of the offense

Alexandra Bogdanovic:

Casey Lee Russell has been charged with felony hit and run. More charges are pending.

A former Marshall man accused of deliberately hitting three pedestrians in Old Town Warrenton on Friday night was reportedly on supervised probation at the time of the offense.

Warrenton Police Chief Connie Novak said Casey Lee Russell, 29, has been arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run.

Additional charges are pending, Novak said. Specifically, she said he may also be charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding.

Russell has no fixed address, but his last known address was Marshall, Novak said.

His most recent arrest stemmed from an incident that allegedly happened at the intersection of Main Street and Fifth Street at approximately 11:10 p.m.

Novak said a vehicle driven by a man subsequently identified as Russell deliberately hit three females ― ages 11, 13 and 18. The vehicle also hit a tree, which fell and pinned one of the victims, the chief added.

Russell allegedly beat the two juveniles with a baseball bat and fled the scene.

Officers obtained Russell's name after speaking to witnesses and the 18-year-old victim, Novak said.

The three victims are unrelated, according to Novak. However, all three are from Warrenton.

The oldest was taken to Fauquier Hospital, where she was treated for leg injuries, Novak said. The two younger girls were both flown to Fairfax Hospital, where they are currently in intensive care, according to Novak.

The 13-year-old reportedly sustained an internal injury and other less serious injuries. The 11-year-old sustained a head injury as well as fractures to her arm and hand, Novak said. Both younger victims had tread marks and marks from the baseball bat on their bodies, she added.

Novak said early this week that police were still trying to determine a motive for Russell's apparent attack on the girls.

While Fairfax police kept an eye on the girls at the hospital, authorities searched for the vehicle and reportedly found it in Front Royal. After obtaining a search warrant for the vehicle, police also learned that Russell was at his mother's house in Front Royal. He was reportedly arrested there on Saturday.

According to court records, Russell was initially scheduled to appear in Fauquier County General District Court on Monday. However the case was continued until July 26.

Court documents also show that Russell has been in trouble before.

In 1999, he was charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer, two counts of malicious wounding, and two counts of use of a firearm in malicious wounding.

He was also charged with one count of use of a firearm in the attempted malicious wounding of a police officer, one count attempted malicious wounding of a police officer, and one count of shooting at an occupied building.

According to the court records, all of the charges stemmed from an incident on July 19, 1999. Russell was arrested the next day, and indicted Sept. 27 that year.

In one of the indictments, the Grand Jury charged that "Casey Lee Russell did feloniously and and maliciously attempt to shoot or by any means cause bodily injury to Sergeant Jerry Wayne Apfel, a law enforcement officer, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill said officer engaged in the performance of his public duties."

In a plea bargain documented in court records, however, Russell agreed to "plead guilty to and [be] found guilty of two counts of malicious wounding and one count of shooting at an occupied building."

The prosecution agreed to request that the rest of the charges be dismissed.

Court records indicate those charges were dismissed in 2001.

Judge Thomas D. Horne ultimately sentenced Russell to a total of 25 years in prison, but suspended all but four years and two months of that time. He also sentenced Russell to 10 years of supervised probation upon his release.

Additional documents in Russell's case file show that his probation began April 22, 2003, with a "minimum expiration date" of April 22, 2013.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Amy Harper confirmed that Russell was still on supervised probation as of Friday.



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