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Story Mia Russell was shot four
times by her abusive boyfriend
Min/ Max Sentence:
15 Years - Life
Next Parole Hearing:
Mia Russell dreamed of becoming a wife and mommy
when she grew up
On August 15, 1992 Mia
Russell, 21, and her boyfriend Michael Eckels, 21, were at
the Athens County Ohio Fair. At some point an argument ensued
over Mia Russell's friendships with other men and the fact
that she wanted to move out of the couple's apartment. After
the fight Mia and Eckels split up and went their separate ways.
When Mia arrived home
later that evening Eckels was already there. The fight continued
in the house. Neighbors reported hearing a basketball bouncing
against the wall. It was later learned that the sound was Eckels
beating Mia's head against the wall. Mia broke away and said
she was going to call police. After a brief silence, Mia ran
out of the apartment and screamed "No, Mike!You're crazy!" Eckels
grabbed a shotgun and followed Mia out of the house. When Mia
reached the sidewalk Eckels shot her in the back. Eckels then
approached Mia and stood over her with the shotgun. Mia put
up her hands to protect herself. Eckels fired the shotgun and
blew one of Mia's hands off. He then fired two more shots into
Mia's chest. He then fired a fatal shot into Mia's head. After
the shooting Eckels fled the scene. Eckels went to a gas station
and called his father. Eckels father convinced him to turn
himself into police.
After Eckels arrest he
refused to take any responsibility for his actions. He blamed
Mia for fighting with him. He claimed the gun went off accidentally
which explained the gunshot in Mia's back. As for the remaining
four shots he had no explanation. Eckels told the judge, "The
next thing I knew, the gun had gone off, and I saw Mia falling.
I don't remember anything about the other shots." Rather
than go to trial and face a charge of aggravated murder Eckels
chose to plead guilty to the lesser charge of murder. Michael
Eckels was sentence from 15-years to Life in prison.
Mia and Eckels had only
been living together for a few months. During that time Mia
saw Eckels true colors. He was jealous and controlling. He
also was abusive. Shortly before Mia's death her father learned
of the abuse. Mr. Russell and Eckels had a talk and he told
Eckels if he touched Mia again he would have to deal with her
father. Eckels promised he would not touch Mia again. A few
weeks later Mr. Russell had to bury his daughter. Mia's family
has not heard from Eckels since the murder. No explanation,
The only thing Mia Russell
was guilty of was wanting to get herself out of an abusive
and controlling relationship. That decision ended up costing
Mia her life.
Michael Eckels has never
expressed any remorse for his crimes to Mia's family. In addition,
he has still not taken full responsibility for his actions.
We believe releasing Michael Eckels would present a serious
risk to Mia's family and the community. Releasing Eckels after
serving only 19 years of his LIFE sentence would not further
the interests of justice and would deny justice to Mia Russell.
Based on these facts and that Michael Eckels brutally murdered
a defenseless woman in cold blood we believe Michael Eckels
should be required to serve his maximum sentence of LIFE in
prison for his brutal and senseless crime.
Please fill out the
form below to help block this parole.
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