Michael Allen Russell

Michael Allen Russell is seen during his court arraignment via video call from the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Note: This story appears in the Thursday, Nov. 29 newspaper on Page A1. 

Bond was set in Athens County Municipal Court for a suspect in the shooting death of Charles Duncan Sr., 55, who was killed Sunday morning at a West Washington Street apartment in Athens.

Michael Allen Russell, 18, made his initial appearance in court Wednesday morning via video call from the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. He faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, and robbery, a second-degree felony.

Authorities identified Russell as a suspect on Tuesday and sought the public’s help in locating him. He reportedly turned himself in to police later Tuesday evening at McDonald’s in The Plains and was arrested without incident.

Judge Todd Grace set Russell’s total bond at $350,000, with no 10 percent allowed. This includes $250,000 on the involuntary manslaughter charge and $100,000 on the robbery charge.

County Assistant Prosecutor Zach Saunders said in his arguments for the bond amount that Russell may be a flight risk, claiming that Russell previously lived in Missouri.

An Athens police report from Tuesday identified Russell’s address as being Pleasanton Road in Athens. Russell, meanwhile, told Judge Todd Grace that his permanent address is on Route 13 in Glouster.

During his court appearance, Russell said he is not employed and is not receiving government assistance. He did not answer the judge’s question as to how he supports himself.

According to an affidavit the Athens Police Department filed to get an arrest warrant, Russell allegedly visited the apartment at 221 W. Washington St., Athens on Sunday morning with two unnamed accomplices to attempt to take $50 from Duncan.

The accomplices tried to kick the door in to enter the apartment, the affidavit alleges, and Russell allegedly fired a single shot from a handgun through the door. The bullet reportedly struck Duncan who was inside the apartment.

As The Messenger reported, a female caller told a 911 dispatcher that Duncan had been shot “through my door at my apartment.” She said Duncan was shot “between the neck and his shoulder blade.”

The affidavit states that Duncan died at the scene.

Russell is set to appear for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Load comments