During a municipal court hearing Wednesday, Judge Brad Bishop found Russell guilty of filing a false police report and falsely reporting the incident, where she reported seeing a child walking along I-459 before she went missing on July 13. On July 15, she walked back to her home in Hoover, where she told police that she had been abducted.
However, after a days-long investigation by police into Russell’s statement, she admitted she had made the whole thing up.
Bishop ordered Russell to pay $831 for each misdemeanor charge, as well as over $17,000 in restitution. She is also facing up to a year in jail on the charges.
Russell, who pleaded not guilty in the case, will appeal the decision to the circuit court. Following the hearing, Russell’s attorney Emory Anthony explained why they have decided to appeal the case.
“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,” Anthony said. “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.”