Carlee Russell shocked the nation when the widespread search for the Alabama nursing student turned out to be a kidnapping hoax. Now, Russell has been found guilty in the July incident, as a Hoover municipal court judge is not only recommending thousands of dollars in restitution, but potential jail time as well, AL News reported.
Russell’s lawyers argued that the year-long sentence was too harsh for the Class A misdemeanor the woman was found guilty of committing, the outlet reported. Although content with the order to pay more than $18,000 for the wrongdoing, a member of her defense team, Emory Anthony, shared their concerns over placing the first-time offender in jail for it.
“If you can find where someone was put in jail for that, bring the file to me and I’ll look at it,’’ shared the lawyer. “Generally, they’re not put in jail. Restitution, we don’t disagree with that, but to lock her up and put her in jail, we disagree.”
This opposition to the full sentencing terms has led the attorneys on behalf of Ms. Russell to appeal the verdict, who are trying to protect her mental state by avoiding jail at all costs, as she goes through trial.
“We’re dealing with issues with Carlee, and we want the best for Carlee,’’ revealed Anthony. “We realize a mistake was made but we don’t want to just pile on right now.”
Despite insistence from the Attorney General’s office to speak in front of a grand jury, her team declined the offer, as they are also waiting to find out if more charges are will be filed.
Russell made headlines due to her alleged disappearance on July 13, after she called the police to report a child walking alongside the highway, prompting a national search for her. However, upon returning to her family home two days later and originally telling authorities that she was kidnapped, it was later revealed that there was no abduction.
As to why the 26-year-old did it and where she was for the more than 48 hours she was missing, Anthony believes that Russell’s true story will come to light in due time.
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