JASPER, Tenn. — The man on trial today in Marion County for the 2012 death of his infant son was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury that deliberated less than two hours before delivering a verdict.
Christopher E. Russell was found guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse and placed into custody as his family watched. There were tears on both sides in the verdict on the case. Russell was originally charged with first-degree murder, and jurors convicted him on the lesser offense.
Court action started Monday in the case that was set to go all week, then stalled Tuesday when the prosecution side moved more quickly through the witness list than expected.
Today the state rested its case after the testimony of Dr. Bridget Eutenier, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on baby Colin Russell in 2012.
Defense attorneys put on a privately hired forensic pathologist, Dr. Thomas William Young, who testified about other causes of the injuries and brain damage that appeared in the baby. Young said Colin's health problems arose from a lack of oxygen and poor nutrition before he was born.
Jurors began deliberating at 2:30 p.m. CDT and announced they had a verdict about 4:15 p.m. CDT.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.