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Russell fights conviction, term

Despite apologizing for the drunken crash that killed three Washington State University students and seriously injured three others, Fred Russell has appealed his conviction and 14-year prison sentence.

Russell’s appeal is pending before the state Court of Appeals, Division III. Russell’s attorney, Dennis Morgan, filed a 116-page brief July 15; a response from the state attorney general’s office is due by Sept. 17, clerk Renee Townsley said. After the response by the state, the case will be scheduled for a hearing.

In his brief, Morgan, of Ritzville, questioned the legality of some of the evidence used against Russell.

A Cowlitz County jury convicted Russell on Nov. 6, 2007, on three counts of vehicular homicide relating to the deaths of WSU students Stacy Morrow, 21, of Milton, Wash.; Ryan Sorensen, 21, of Westport, Wash.; and Brandon Clements, 22, of Wapato, Wash.

Russell was also found guilty of vehicular assault for injuring three other students in the June 4, 2001, crash.

Shortly before his first trial was scheduled to start in 2001, Russell fled the country. He lived in Ireland under an assumed name until Oct. 23, 2005, when he was captured by U.S. marshals. He was extradited to the U.S. in November 2006.

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