Spokane Man Claims He Is 'Embodiment Of God's Wrath'; Faces Sta - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Man Claims He Is 'Embodiment Of God's Wrath'; Faces Stalking Charge

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane man appeared in Federal Court on Tuesday to face stalking charges. But the hearing turned into a debate between Assistant U.S. Attorney Rudy Verschoor and Brent Russ's defense attorney, federal defender Andrea George, about the state of mental health in America, and the danger Russ, 33, posed to the community. Verschoor argued that Russ was delusional and a potential danger to the community. George said her client should be released to the care of his family, and given access to mental health facilities that could help with his mental state.

At the end of the hearing, Magistrate Judge John Rodgers determined George had not shown that her client was not a danger to the community, and ordered him to remain in custody until his trial.

Russ was arrested in September on a stalking charge, after a neighbor reported Russ was harassing her via mail and on the telephone. Because the stalking charge included inter-state allegations, the FBI began investigating. They took Russ into custody and served a search warrant on his home. In his home, FBI agents found a cache of modified firearms, tin foil on his windows and walls, and a journal in which Russ claims to be 'Azrael, the Arch Angel of Death' and 'the embodiment of God's wrath'. He also says his neighbor, described in court as L.M., is another angel, "Uriel", and the two of them are meant to join forces to face off against Lucifer and cleanse the earth of evil. In the same journal, Russ wrote that he was putting tinfoil on his walls to keep out Electromagnetic pulses from an entity that was trying to tell him what to do. The prosecutor noted this behavior matched similar behavior by the man who shot and killed 12 people at a Navy Yard near Washington, D.C..

In court on Tuesday, Verschoor argued that Russ should remain in custody because his mental state is questionable. Verschoor said Russ had several modified firearms, and, when asked after his arrest if he had another cache of firearms the Prosecutor said Russ would not answer. That means, according to Verschoor, there could be another cache of firearms that Russ has hidden away.

Verschoor also said, due to Russ's mental state, plus his possession of many firearms, he could be a danger to the community. Verschoor said in light of recent mass shootings, where the shooters were determined to have significant mental illnesses, it would be irresponsible to release Russ from custody, even with substantial release conditions.

Russ's defense attorney, Andrea George, then stood in front of Magistrate Judge Rodgers and argued that her client was not a threat to the community and should be released, albeit with strict release conditions. Then, in a move unusual for first appearances, she began calling Brent Russ's family members to the stand. Russ's Uncle, Aunt, a cousin, and his Grandfather all answered questions about Russ.

None had concern for their safety while he was around, none noticed any odd behavior in the days leading up to his arrest, and all said they would do everything in their power to ensure that if Russ were released he would be watched after.

After all the testimony from family, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rudy Verschoor asked to speak again and Magistrate Judge Rodgers said, 'I think we've heard enough. This has been an exhaustive amount of evidence presented by both sides.' Magistrate Judge Rodgers then said that while Russ's fate will not be based on notorious events of the past, he does have some reservations about releasing him from custody.

Ultimately, Magistrate Judge Rodgers decided Brent Russ should remain in custody for two reasons: the first, in spite of a family that clearly seemed willing to go to great lengths to help him, the Judge felt they missed something in the months and weeks leading up to his arrest, and the discovery of his journal and firearms. Second, Magistrate Judge Rodgers said 'irrational behavior does not respond to rational conditions of release.' That means, even though very thorough release conditions may be put in place, Russ's mental state is such that there is no guarantee he will follow them despite his family's intervention.

Russ will remain in custody until his trial begins.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:56:12 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • LOOK: 5 Foreclosed N. Idaho Homes For Sale For Under $120,000

    LOOK: 5 Foreclosed N. Idaho Homes For Sale For Under $120,000

    Wednesday, March 12 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-03-12 18:00:09 GMT
    KHQ.COM - If you are in the market to buy a house you may want to consider looking at these homes that are currently in foreclosure in N. Idaho. These are five homes in multiple areas of N. Idaho that you can get for under $120,000. With a little paint and some elbow grease, many of these homes would be great for those who are looking to flip a home and turn a profit.>>
    KHQ.COM - If you are in the market to buy a house you may want to consider looking at these homes that are currently in foreclosure in N. Idaho. These are five homes in multiple areas of N. Idaho that you can get for under $120,000. With a little paint and some elbow grease, many of these homes would be great for those who are looking to flip a home and turn a profit.>>
  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-04-15 14:08:47 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:06 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:06:50 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. Authorities say 15-year-old Jacob Hays of Burien was last seen on April 3, 2014. He is white with brown hair and brown eyes. He's 5'10" and weighs 160 pounds. >>
  • Washington School Bus Driver Accused Of Bullying

    Washington School Bus Driver Accused Of Bullying

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:04:45 GMT
    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A school bus driver in Olympia, Wash., has been placed on leave while the school district investigates accusations that he bullied a developmentally disabled 14-year-old girl.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A school bus driver in Olympia, Wash., has been placed on leave while the school district investigates accusations that he bullied a developmentally disabled 14-year-old girl.
    >>
  • Idaho Girl Dies Of Injuries From Bike-Car Collision

    Idaho Girl Dies Of Injuries From Bike-Car Collision

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:01:50 GMT
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A 13-year-old girl struck by a car while riding her bike in Boise has died. Officials say the girl died Tuesday evening.>>
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A 13-year-old girl struck by a car while riding her bike in Boise has died. Officials say the girl died Tuesday evening.
    >>