The 40-year-old ‘cannibal’ killer who microwaved and ate body parts of the 70-year-old victim to ‘heal his brain’ has been sentenced to life in prison
A KILLER who microwaved and ate body parts of his 70-year-old victim to ‘heal his brain’ has been sentenced to life in prison.
James David Russell, 40, was convicted of the September 2021 murder of David M Flaget, who worked on his family’s Idaho property.
Russell was arrested after deputies from the Bonn County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a suspected death in Clark Fork and found parts of the victim’s body.
Searching the property, the shocked officers found a microwave oven and a glass bowl containing blood, along with a bloodied duffel bag and a knife, police said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Russell thought he would be able to “heal himself by cutting off bits of flesh” and that doing so would “heal his brain.”
When MPs reached the property, they found Flaget upside down in the passenger seat of his truck, unresponsive.
After a brief pause, Russell surrendered and allowed himself to be taken into custody.
An autopsy revealed that Flaget died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Russell was initially charged with first-degree murder and cannibalism.
The first-degree murder charge was downgraded to the second degree and the cannibalism charge was dropped after a settlement with prosecutors.
Judge Barbara Buchanan said the life sentence without the possibility of parole was intended to protect society and Russell himself.
Russell suffers from various mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis, the judge said.
She explained that Russel went off his medication and had become increasingly violent over the year before the murder.
“In this case, as Mr. Marshall said, mental illness is somewhat a mitigating factor, but also an aggravating factor,” the judge said, according to KREM2.
“Because the court has no certainty, imagine that if Mr. Russell is not incarcerated, society can be safe, there is no way Mr. Russell can be safe.”
Russell spoke to the court during his sentencing and apologized to the victim’s family.
“I just wanted to say I’m very sorry,” Russell said. “I just want you to know that I was once a normal person.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7291192/cannibal-killer-microwaved-victim-brain/ The 40-year-old ‘cannibal’ killer who microwaved and ate body parts of the 70-year-old victim to ‘heal his brain’ has been sentenced to life in prison