A Florida murder suspect remains in the Dougherty County Jail tonight after his three-month long run from the law ended in Albany. Investigators tell us they believe James Russell moved around, trying to avoid being captured following the murder of a man in Jacksonville over a $5 debt. They think he spent his last few days of freedom at an east Albany motel.
"the US Marshals contacted us and said they had information a murder suspect from Jacksonville, Florida was here in Albany," said APD Lt. Michael Persley.
The Albany Gang Unit assisted the Marshals in apprehending Russell. He had been on the run since last November when Jacksonville Sheriff's investigators say he shot and killed 38-year- old Phillipe Foster over a $5 debt.
"He's probably traveled to other states along the east coast under an assumed name," said Persley.
Using a stolen identity, Russell had checked into the Motel 6 but his stay was short when officers raided his room last Friday night.
"Once he was arrested he made the statement that he was glad we didn't hurt him. He knew his time was up," said Persley.
Officers recovered a handgun along with marijuana and cocaine, but the major charge of murder awaits Russell when he returns to Florida.
"Hopefully the family in Jacksonville can find some solace that their loved will have some justice but also, for the citizens of Albany, that not only do we address criminals who live here but those who are passing through," said Persley.
Next stop is the Duval County Jail where his stay will be extended until he stands trial for crime motivated by a trivial debt.
Jacksonville Sheriff Investigators say they hope the gun found on Russell is the murder weapon. He's being held in the Dougherty County Jail awaiting extradition.