Alabama judge issues ruling in Carlee Russell hoax case

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An Alabama judge found Carlee Russell guilty of two misdemeanor charges after she faked her own abduction in July.

Hoover Municipal Court Judge Thomas Brad Bishop on Wednesday found Russell guilty on charges of false reporting of an incident and false reporting to law enforcement, both misdemeanors, according to FOX affiliate WBRC.

The state recommended one year in jail, the maximum, which is six months for each charge. They also recommended a fine of $831 and restitution of $17,974.88.

According to the report, the case will be appealed to circuit court.

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Carlee Russell leaves court

Carlee Russell exits Hoover Municipal Court Wednesday, October 11, 2023. Russell was found guilty on charges realting to her faking her own abduction in July. (Dana Mixer for Fox News Digital)

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Russell, 24, dialed 911 on July 13 at around 9:34 p.m. to report a toddler walking along the southbound side of Interstate 459 near Birmingham, according to the Hoover Police Department.

She returned home on July 15 at around 10:45 p.m. near where police say she was seen walking along the sidewalk beforehand.

In a statement Russell made through her attorney, Emery Anthony, to the Hoover Police Department, she admitted to never seeing a baby on Interstate 459.

Carlee Russell's attorney exits the court building

Carlee Russell’s attorney, Emory Anthony exits Hoover Municipal Court Wednesday, October 11, 2023. Russell was found guilty on charges realting to her faking her own abduction in July. (Dana Mixer for Fox News Digital)

“My client did not have any help in this incident. This was a single act done by herself,” the statement said. “My client was not with anyone or any hotel with anyone from the time she was missing. My client apologizes for her actions to this community, the volunteers who were searching for her, to the Hoover Police Department and other agencies as well and to her friends and family.” 

During a press conference when charges were filed, Derzis said that officials still don’t know Russell’s whereabouts during the 49 hours she was missing.

CARLEE RUSSELL TRAVELING ‘6 FOOTBALL FIELDS’ DURING 911 CALL DOESN’T MAKE ‘ANY SENSE’: FORMER DETECTIVE

Alabama woman Carlee Russell's car seen in traffic cam video

Hoover, Alabama police are reviewing traffic camera video from I-459 that shows Carlee Russell’s car, seen driving slowly in the emergency lane with warning lights, pull over before she went missing July 13.  (Courtesy: Hoover Police Department / TCA)

“We still don’t know what happened in those 49 hours, where she was. Did she have any help? We have no idea,” Derzis said. “We wanted the focus to be, ‘bring her home.’ She got home. We’re very excited about that.”

“That facts that I (spoke about) last Wednesday pretty much showed that we knew it was a hoax,” Derzis said.

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Police earlier said that Russell took toilet paper and a bathrobe from the Woodhouse Spa Birmingham, her employer. She later picked up food for takeout and was later seen getting snacks at Target.



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