Prior to Wednesday’s sentencing hearing in Wise County Circuit Court, Christi Jo Russell entered no contest pleas to a number of charges dating from December of 2016 through July of last year, included attempted murder of a police officer, conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, two counts of child abuse and neglect, felony shoplifting, identity theft and credit card fraud.
The most egregious charge against Russell stemmed from an event that occurred on July 3, 2017. Norton Police Officer Jason McDonnell was attempting to serve outstanding arrest warrants on Russell when she jumped into her car and attempted to drive away.
McConnell reached into the vehicle in an attempt to detain Russell, but she began to drive off at a high rate of speed with McConnell hanging half in and half out of the vehicle. He was able to jump clear before he was seriously injured or killed.
The court sentenced Russell to 24 years, but suspended 17 years and five months. Following her release after serving the effective six years-plus, Russell will be required to complete 10 years of probation, pay restitution and complete community service.