Russell is tentatively set to stand trial on March 18, 2024, according to an order signed by Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff Circuit Court Judge David Carpenter on Thursday. The trial is a result of Russell appealing her case after she was found guilty of filing a false police report and falsely reporting the incident earlier this month.
“We stipulated and appealed the case and the reason behind it was that they’re trying to ask for jail time, which we totally disagree with,” said Emory Anthony, Russell’s attorney, following her municipal court hearing on Oct. 11. “So, in fairness, there’s no need of having a trial here, knowing their position. So we have stipulated and appealed the case and we’ll start anew in the Bessemer circuit court.”
On July 13, Russell reported seeing a child walking alongside I-459 before disappearing. After being missing for over 48 hours, she showed up at her house in Hoover and told police she had been abducted. After the police investigated her statement for days, she admitted she never saw a child on the interstate and that the kidnapping was a hoax.
On Oct. 13, Judge Brad Bishop found Russell guilty after she entered a not guilty plea, ordering her to pay $831 for each misdemeanor charge, as well as over $17,000 in restitution. Russell is also facing up to a year in jail on the charges.