Colquitt Co. Sheriff deputies search for fugitive -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Colquitt Co. Sheriff deputies search for fugitive


South Georgia authorities are searching for a dangerous fugitive, Monday night.

26-year-old Michael Russell pleaded guilty to a deadly armed robbery in Colquitt County, but he didn't show up for court when he was supposed to find out his sentence.

Russell and 25-year-old Phirronnius Edwards were charged with murder in the September 2011 death of 29-year-old Billy Hewitt outside his 29th Avenue home.

"The victim, Billy Hewitt, arrived home from work and Edwards and Michael Russell got into an altercation with him at which at the time Billy Hewitt was shot and killed," said Colquitt County Sheriff's Investigator Shannon Hart.

Russell agreed to plead guilty to armed robber and testify against Edwards.

He was supposed to be sentenced last month, but he didn't show up for his hearing and has been on the run since.

"We would consider him dangerous," said Hart.

Now, deputies want to get Russell off the streets.  They say he could be desperate to avoid a long prison term.

"I'm sure all of that is going to change now seeing that he didn't show up to court, so he really doesn't have much to lose at this point," said Hart.

Hopefully his capture will help bring closure in his family's life.

"He pled guilty to armed robbery to a homicide and I'm sure the victim's family would like to see some justice in this case," said Hart.

Edwards is serving a life sentence for the murder.

Russell is 6'3" and 240 pounds.

Anyone with information about him is urged to call the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office.


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