Police say domestic violence victim "did everything she could to protect herself"

Community remembers woman killed by husband

MADISON, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Southern Indiana residents are demanding answers after domestic violence turned deadly.

According to police, Anthony Russell killed his estranged wife, Laura Russell, and then killed himself. 

The couple had a history of domestic violence, and Laura had a no contact order. 

Police confirm she did everything she could to protect herself, now community members want to know what went wrong.

"The community is shaken by something such as this, as well we should be. It’s just, it’s a tragic ending,” Jefferson County, Indiana Sheriff John Wallace said.

Police said Anthony Russell attacked his estranged wife in her home last Friday, stabbing her multiple times, killing her and then killing himself.

Friends of Laura say this shouldn't have happened and point to the warning signs... warning signs court documents illustrate in detail.

"I think she tried all the avenues that she could to stay safe,” Wallace said.

Police confirm Anthony attacked Laura in late August. He was arrested, but quickly bailed out of jail.

Laura filed and received a No Contact Order but that didn't keep Anthony away.

According to court documents Anthony was stalking Laura- following her and waiting for her. 

On September 19, Laura reported leaving work the same way she always does, but while passing the Jefferson County Health Department, Anthony was waiting for her.  

He tried to wave her down, but Laura kept going and called the police, the documents state.

Two weeks later, Anthony followed Laura to the gym, according to court documents. A gym employee called police after she said she saw Anthony through the front door, trying to get in.

"I think Laura did everything right,” Wallace said.

But if she did everything right, the courts did everything right, shouldn’t Laura be alive?

Community members are pointing fingers at Judge Michael Hensley, the judge who denied the prosecutor's motion to have Anthony arrested on stalking charges. That motion was filed the day before Anthony killed her.

"Somebody’s scared for their life so they have to go to the court to get help, and you're supposed to be there to protect and serve," Rebecca Rice, who lives in Madison, said.

Were the courts there for Laura? Why was Anthony still on the streets with a felony five stalking charge and woman who said she feared for her life? Those are just some of the questions WHAS11 tried to ask Judge Hensley.

He denied the request for an interview. His clerk tells us he will be releasing a statement after the funeral out of respect for the family. When asked when Hensley would be ready to answer the public’s questions

WHAS11 asked Judge Hensley's clerk when Hensley will be ready to answer to the people of Madison- she told us there is no time frame.
 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment