Prosecution Rests Case Against Fred Russell

KELSO, WASH. — Prosecutors wrapped up their case against Fred Russell in his vehicular homicide trial Monday afternoon and court has adjourned for the day.

Court adjourned Monday afternoon and will return Tuesday morning when the defense team will begin calling their witnesses to lay out their case that the June 4, 2001 collision that killed three WSU students was a tragic accident and that claims that Russell was drunk when his SUV collided with other vehicles head-on are unreliable.

Since opening statements prosecutors have been working to show the jury that speed and alcohol were primary factors in the crash six years ago when Russell’s SUV collided with another vehicle on the Moscow-Pullman Highway killing three Washington State University students and injuring three others.

Last week, a number of conflicting stories came out about the evening’s events through the various witnesses that took the stand for the prosecution.

Witnesses included among others the four survivors in the car that Russell hit, the passenger in Russell’s SUV, Washington State Patrol troopers, a coroner and the bartender who served Russell less than an hour before the crash.

One of the other witnesses to testify was U.S. Marshal Mike Kline, who escorted Russell back from Ireland. Kline told the court about Russell’s flight from justice only a few weeks before his trial was originally scheduled to begin in October of 2001 and his subsequent arrest by Irish authorities and his extradition back to the United States.

It is not known if Russell will take the stand in his own defense.