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Update: PAROLE DENIED.
The parole of Michael Eckels has been denied. Eckels will
not have another hearing until August 2015. Thank you to everyone
who submitted a petition to block this parole.
Minimum/ Maximum Sentence:
15 Years - Life
15, 1992 Mia Russell, 21, and her boyfriend Michael Eckels,
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
Mia and Eckels split up and went their separate ways.
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
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
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
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
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
should be required to serve his maximum sentence
brutal and senseless crime.
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