The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

January 13, 2014

Charges dropped in family’s dispute with police

A special prosecutor has dropped misdemeanor charges against a Joplin father and son arising from a dispute with police and paramedics after a family member’s suicide.

James Nichols, a special prosecutor from Lamar, had the charges against Kevin Russell, 44, and Brant Russell, 22, dismissed last week in Joplin Municipal Court.

The Russells were facing counts of assault, obstruction and peace disturbance in connection with an incident the night of March 17 at the intersection of Third Street and Virginia Avenue after 16-year-old Brooke Russell shot herself in Roanoke Park.

Family members, who found her in the park, took the severely wounded girl to that location to meet an ambulance crew that took her to Freeman Hospital West, where she died. An exchange of words with the paramedics and the first police officer to arrive on the scene culminated with the officer pepper-spraying and arresting the father and son.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” Kevin Russell told the Globe on Monday.

The Russells have maintained that they were sprayed and arrested without cause. They were still in police custody when the girl died two hours later at the hospital.

The father declined any other comment on the case.

Nichols, who was appointed special prosecutor when City Prosecutor Tricia Gould recused herself from the case in December, did not return a call seeking comment on why the charges were dismissed.

William Fleischaker, the attorney representing the Russells, said he received copies of Nichols’ motions to dismiss the charges early last week. The motions did not provide any stated reason for dismissal, he said.

“He reviewed the facts objectively and apparently found the charges should be dismissed,” Fleischaker said.

Internal review

AN INTERNAL BOARD of the Joplin Police Department reviewed the use-of-force incident involving Kevin and Brant Russell and Cpl. Austin Wolf, and decided that Wolf responded appropriately.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072314techcenter4.jpg Southeast Kansas schools, businesses get behind new technical center

    When Galena Superintendent Brian Smith looks at the millions of dollars of construction projects going on in his district, not to mention similar projects underway in Joplin, Carthage and elsewhere, he sees the need to train masons.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • 072414_annie1.JPG Child's play: Kids comprise the cast of 'Annie Jr.'

    The kids are getting a kick out of playing adults. While most of the main characters in "Annie Jr." are orphan children, some, such as Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan and President Roosevelt, are squarely past adulthood.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hospital Shooting_Cast.jpg Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

    A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    July 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Vatican Pope.jpg Pope meets Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Box Turtle.jpg Getting reacquainted with garden dwellers

    Visitors to my garden this week find me covered in dust and dirt with bits of wood, leaves and who knows what else caught in my hair; stinky, sweaty gloves; grimy sweat pants and rivulets of dirty perspiration running down my face.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • mug_sarah-coyne-112613-c.jpg Sarah Coyne: Older kids still find joy in toys

    When she crawled under her covers, she buried her head in her pillow. Then she looked up at me and whispered, "But what if I can't stop thinking about that spider?"

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dave Ramsey: Keep hands off the 529 money

    Should we use money from our son's 529 plan for college to pay off debt?

    July 24, 2014

  • Laclede Group gets nod to buy Alabama company

    The Alabama Public Service Commission this week voted to approve the acquisition of Alabama Gas Corp. by The Laclede Group from Energen Corp.

    July 24, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: MDC’s got it right

    You might be surprised to learn that one of Missouri’s most robust volunteer programs is run by the government.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo