Prosecutors say Russell, 26, shot Sollohub in the head with a .22 caliber pistol while the officer pursued him on Aug. 24, 2011, near 19th Street and Moore Avenue. Russell was apprehended after an hours-long manhunt in the neighborhood where 27-year-old Sollohub was found shot. Sollohub died in a Birmingham hospital a day later.
The trial was moved to Lee County so it could be presented to a jury with no prior knowledge of the case.
A Lee County jury in September found Russell guilty of capital murder in Sollohub’s death, and on an 8-4 margin, recommended life in prison for the defendant. Judge Brian Howell held today's hearing because Alabama law allows judges to override juries' recommendations in such cases.
Today’s hearing included testimony from Russell’s family members, who said he is remorseful for the crime. But deputies from the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, where Russell has been held, said the defendant has been uncooperative with jail workers and has shown no signs of regret.
Gathering outside the court room for Joshua Russell's sentencing. pic.twitter.com/v4krfIGDXD— Madasyn Czebiniak (@MCzebiniak_Star) December 16, 2013