Today’s Metro Story

Russell (who seems very participatory in his defense)

Russell (who seems very participatory in his defense)

Opening arguments and initial witnesses in the trial of Christopher Russell who sits cuffed, charged with nine violent robberies against women ranging in age from 46 to 83 in a seven-month period ending March 2009. The first two witnesses put it into perspective: It wasn’t enough for Russell to (allegedly) rob them; he (allegedly) had to beat them more than he had to, as well.

“He smirked, grabbed the back of my head, slammed my face into the walkway and tugged my purse off my shoulder. My front teeth hit a brick and splintered like shards of glass,” she said.

If I can read how it’s shaping up this soon, the defense will be: How did you recognize him if he beat you so badly, and were the police and media complicit in rigging the identification process by running Russell’s picture prior to arrest.

ADA Caroline Keating couldn’t even guess how many years he’s facing.

More victims are expected on the stand today. Some jurors already seem disgusted by what they’re hearing, though I wish I could read the mind of the elderly woman with a cane serving as one of Russell’s peers.

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