Jury recommends life sentence for killing officer


OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — A jury is recommending life in prison for Joshua Russell following his conviction on a capital murder charge in the 2011 killing of Anniston police officer Justin Sollohub.

The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/1eU1G8g) that eight of the 12 jurors recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole, the remainder voting for Russell to receive the death penalty. The jury deliberated for five hours before reaching its recommendation Wednesday afternoon.

Russell's fate lies in the hands of Calhoun County Circuit Judge Brian Howell, because Alabama law allows judges to override a jury's recommendation. That means Howell could still sentence Russell to death during a November hearing.

Prosecutors say Russell shot 27-year-old Sollohub in the head with a .22 caliber pistol after the officer pursued him on Aug. 24, 2011.


Information from: The Anniston Star, http://www.annistonstar.com/

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