A Long Time Coming. . .
A month after my freshman year of college ended there was a horrific car accident on the highway between Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID which killed three WSU students. The accident was caused by another WSU student, Frederick Russell, who was drunk at the time of the accident. And it was due to his poor decision making that night that caused the lives of so many people to be changed in a single night.
Originally I felt bad for him. Here was a scared 21 year old kid, the son of a professor, who made some really bad choices in a single night with repercussions that could not easily be fixed. But then he fled the country with the help of a family friend who drove him across the border into Canada and he wasn’t heard from for the next four years.
Since 2001 right up until his capture in 2005 many people thought he was in Canada. But as it turns out, he was living under a different name in Ireland. He had a girlfriend, and he was working as a security guard for a lingerie store. His parents had since moved , no longer welcome in eastern Washington (and go figure other legal problems have plagued them since). And I would feel bad for them, except for my lingering belief that they helped their son flee. And Ireland, a country that does not particularly like to extradite anyone back to the US, handed him over with little arguement.
His lawyer compared him to Harrison Ford’s character in “The Fugitive” only difference is that Ford’s character was innocent. His lawyer also tried to blame another individual for the accident. I am not impressed. And while its fair to say he would not have had a fair trial on the east-side (it was moved to Kelso, WA), I seriously doubt most would agree that the best answer is to skip town.
So today his trial went to jury, and I hope that he gets prison. Not for life, but to serve his due time and do what he should have done back in 2001 which was man up and take responsibility for his actions.
Frederick Russell, I hope you enjoy prison.