An Alabama attorney believes Carlee Russell should be in jail after information revealed on Wednesday disputed last week’s supposed kidnapping of the Alabama woman.
Eric Guster, a former criminal defense attorney turned personal injury lawyer, was captivated by the national news of Russell disappearing that occurred near his home, but has since changed his opinion in the matter when police released more information over the last three days.
“She said she was kidnapped, and a kidnapping didn’t happen. Our citizens are safe, there’s not a kidnapper out there,” Guster told WVTM 13. “So they use every other synonym for lie except saying she lied.”
Earlier this week, Hoover Police found no evidence of a child wandering along I-459 — a claim Russell made to police the night she disappeared.
Guster, who is currently the managing partner for the Guster Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama, says Russell’s “kidnapping” will make it harder for others who go missing, as public trust has gone down for similar cases, especially for certain races.
“It’s going to be much more difficult for African American women to be believed and it may actually decrease the number of actual reports of things because people are already afraid that they won’t be believed,” said Guster.
Although police never directly talked about it, Guster claims police outlined three crimes Russell committed and should be arrested on all three charges: theft, lying to authorities, and filing a false police report, according to the outlet.
Guster also referenced Aniah Blanchard, the Alabama teen that was kidnapped and murdered in 2019, whose family helped lead a search party when Russell was reported missing.
“Imagine going and searching for someone and they’re off doing something else and they’re never in danger, and you’re thinking about saving this person’s daughter and yours was not saved. Beyond angry, super livid, that would be me,” Guster added.
Blanchard’s family, who runs “Aniah’s Heart” a non-profit focused on preventing victims of violence and helping in search and rescue missions of missing people, have been outspoken since Russell’s disappearance.
“Please understand this is not okay to put my family through this by bringing Aniah Blanchard up during this. My daughter was kidnapped and she was really fighting for her life. People don’t want this type of hurt,” Elijah Blanchard, Aniah’s father said in a Facebook post.
The lawyer then provided some legal assistance to Russell and her potential law team saying she should remain quiet and not talk to anyone.
“If I was Carlee’s attorney, I would speak for her, I would not allow her to speak to police because anything she says can and will be used against her,” Guster told WVTM. “I would speak for her, I would go to the mayor, I would go to the police chief and figure out if there is something we could do, that’s what I would do.”
Russell has yet to talk to police, outside the brief discussion they had when she first reappeared at home last Saturday night, with cops saying they were waiting for her to become “available” before holding a full interview.
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