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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Archangel of Death

Stalking suspect released from custody

The Spokane man accused of sending threatening letters to a former neighbor alluding to his belief he was the Archangel of Death has been released under supervision to seek psychiatric evaluation.

 

Brent Russ, 33, had been in custody of the U.S. marshals since his arrest in September. Federal agents investigating letters and phone messages to Russ’ southwest Spokane neighbor, a tribal police officer, discovered guns and a journal outlining Russ’ beliefs he was the “embodiment of God’s wrath.” Prosecutors were charging him with one criminal stalking count and two counts of mailing threatening communications.

 

Those charges were suspended for five years by a federal judge Friday, who ordered Russ stay with his parents in western Washington, surrender his guns and seek psychiatric evaluation. Russ will also be supervised by federal court officials as part of the pretrial agreement.

 

The order puts the prosecution on hold so that Russ can demonstrate “good conduct,” according to U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice. The ruling leaves the door open for future prosecution or to dismiss the charges entirely.

Doctors: ‘Archangel of Death’ stalking suspect in remission

Citing two mental health professionals who say his psychosis was a “one-time episode” that is now in remission, the attorney for the Spokane man charged with stalking a tribal police officer after federal investigators discovered a disturbing manifesto in his home is asking for her client's release.

Brent Russ has remained in custody of U.S. marshals since his arrest in September. At the time, federal agents following up on claims from a tribal police officer she was being stalked by Russ, a former neighbor, found modified weapons and a journal in the man's home that discussed establishing a “kill room” similar to that featured in the television program “Dexter” and a “download” that prompted him to file civil claims against the nation's biggest banks. He also wrote of being an agent of Azrael, the fabled Archangel of Death.

A federal judge ordered Russ held pending a psychiatric evaluation in October. Another judge upheld that order last month.

But with two doctors now writing after independent evaluations that Russ poses no threat to the community, attorney Andrea George is asking Russ be released pending his trial, scheduled for later this month.

George will make her case, and ask that the charge against Russ be dropped, at a hearing scheduled for later this week. 

‘Archangel of Death’ stalking suspect remains in custody

Though a clinical psychologist concluded he was not a danger to the community, a Spokane man facing a federal stalking charge who was arrested after a cache of weapons and a disturbing journal was found in his home will remain in jail until his scheduled January trial date, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Brent Russ, 33, has remained in the custody of U.S. marshals since his arrest in September. Federal agents searched Russ' southwest Spokane home and discovered several guns modified to inflict greater harm, as well as photos of weapons on the man's computer that have yet to be located, according to subsequent briefs from investigators.

The search was prompted by a complaint from a female tribal police officer and former neighbor of Russ'. According to a now-sealed affidavit, Russ allegedly made statements indicating he had the woman under surveillance and sent her a threatening package when she approached mental health experts about his erratic behavior.

Among the written materials discovered by investigators were claims Russ was slaying nocturnal demonic creatures by slicing their brains with a sword and the construction of a “kill room” like something you would see in the television show “Dexter,” which details the exploits of a forensics investigator who moonlights as a serial killer.

Defense attorneys have elected not to pursue an insanity plea in the case, however they have signaled intentions to prove Russ was not fully aware of the consequences of his alleged criminal acts through a diminished capacity argument. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice ruled the evaluation of Mark Mays, a psychologist who examined Russ, that the 33-year-old was not a danger to the community was not enough to release him from custody.

“… the Court still has reasonable concerns about the Defendant's competency,” Rice wrote.

A trial date in late January has been tentatively scheduled. Russ faces a maximum five-year prison term and a fine of up to $25,000 if convicted on the stalking charge.

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