FLORENCE — It took just more than 90 minutes Thursday afternoon for a jury to return a guilty verdict against a Tuscumbia man in connection with the 2011 traffic death of a Lauderdale County man, officials said.
Courthouse officials said Richard Ray Russell, 33, was found guilty of manslaughter, third-degree assault and driving while license suspended.
Russell was accused of driving a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix that ran into the back of a 2008 Chevrolet truck driven by James Thomas Campbell, 57, of Rogersville, who was killed in the cash. The crash was Jan. 15, 2011, on U.S. 72 near Elgin. Campbell’s wife, Larree Campbell, 64, was injured in the wreck.
Officials said at the time of the wreck the collision caused Campbell’s car to leave the road and roll several times.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said Russell was found guilty of manslaughter in connection with Campbell’s death and third-degree assault in connection with the injuries to Larree Campbell. He said he was pleased with the jury’s decision.
Russell was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the wreck, officials said. Russell had maintained that he was not impaired when the wreck occurred. However, testimony during the three-day trial revealed that Russell not only had alcohol in his blood system, but also hydrocodone and marijuana.
Connolly said Russell has not been sentenced. However, he said Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Gil Self ordered Russell to be taken into custody following the jury’s decision.
Russell has requested a bond hearing which should likely be scheduled within the next week, according courthouse officials.
Manslaughter is a Class B felony, punishable by 2-20 years in prison. Third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail if convicted.
Connolly said he will asked Self to sentence Russell to the maximum sentence possible.
“(Russell) has an extensive history of driving while under the influence arrests, which will be presented at the (sentencing hearing),” Connolly said.
Russell is being held in the Lawrence County Jail.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.