Jury continues deliberation in Russ trial

Michael Isaac Russ (Member of Hell's Angels MC)

ASHEBORO — The jurors in the Michael Isaac Russ murder trial continued their deliberation Monday without reaching a verdict.

They will resume Tuesday morning.

Russ, 40, of 4511 Colonial Circle, Trinity, is charged with murdering Larry Wayne Campbell, 27, of Denton, on Dec. 22, 2017.

Campbell, a father of three, was shot and killed in a parking lot outside of BBQ Joe’s Country Cooking, 4873 NC 62, Trinity.

The case was turned over to the jury Friday afternoon. At 7 p.m., after nearly three hours of deliberation, the jurors requested they be allowed to go home for the weekend and return for further deliberation Monday.

The jury resumed at 9:30 a.m. Monday and continued all day.

So far, the jurors have requested to review numerous pieces of evidence.

On Friday, they returned to the courtroom to watch the video surveillance from BBQ Joe’s of the shooting. They also requested autopsy photos, photos of the defendant’s truck and photos of the victim and Roy Pruitt’s motorcycles.

Along with the visuals, they also asked to see Russ’ journal and the written statement that an eyewitness, Darnell Johnson, gave at the scene the day of the shooting.

On Monday, jurors requested more evidence, including the written interview from the defense’s private investigator with Pruitt.

The jurors have the option to find Russ guilty of first-degree murder or second-degree murder. They may also find him not guilty by means of self-defense.

Superior Court Judge Brad Long defined each of these for the jury:

• First-degree murder — the unlawful killing of a human being with malice, premeditation and deliberation.

• Second-degree murder— the unlawful killing of a human being with malice, but without premeditation and deliberation.

The jury may find Russ not guilty if they believe he acted in self-defense, meaning he believed the action he took was necessary to save himself from death or great bodily harm.

Along with murder, Russ is also charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction, possession of methamphetamine, speeding in excess of 15 mph more than the speed limit and reckless driving.