Russell pleads not guilty to forgery, theft charges in Colfax - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Russell pleads not guilty to forgery, theft charges in Colfax

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COLFAX, Wash. - Frederick Russell has pleaded not guilty in Colfax to forgery and theft charges related to his flight to Ireland to avoid vehicular homicide and assault charges in a drunken driving crash.

Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier set a December first hearing on other issues in the case. Russell remains in the jail in Colfax, without bond.

Russell had pleaded innocent five years ago to the vehicular homicide and assault charges and those pleas remain. Under terms of his extradition from Ireland a plea of bail jumping will be dismissed.

Russell wore a blazer and red tie in court. His only words were "not guilty." He did not look around the packed courtroom at the families of the students killed and injured in the crash five years ago.

Prosecutors say Russell caused the crash on the Moscow-Pullman Highway by driving drunk. Shortly before he was to go on trial he fled the country and was living under an assumed name in Ireland when he was found and arrested in October of last year in Dublin. He fought extradition claiming he would be treated inhumanely in a U-S prison.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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