Carlee Russell is officially facing charges after admitting that her disappearance earlier this month was a hoax. As The Shade Room previously reported, Russell’s attorney confirmed her false report to Alabama police on July 25.
RELATED: Wrap It Up: Five Facts About The ‘Hoax’ Disappearance Of Carlee Russell
More Details Regarding Carlee Russell’s Charges
According to AL, Russell was booked into Hoover City Jail on Friday. However, she has since been released on a $2,000 bond.
Additionally, the 26-year-old has been charged with “false reporting to law enforcement authorities” and “falsely reporting an incident.”
CBS 42 reports that the charges are Class A misdemeanors. However, PEOPLE adds that they each carry a sentence of one year in jail.
Additionally, Russell may also have to pay fines of up to $6,000.
The Hoover Police Held A Press Conference To Further Discuss The Decision To Charge Russell
On Friday, the Hoover Police Department held a press conference to reveal the official charges against Russell. WVTM 13 reportedly captured footage of Russell ahead of the press conference.
Carlee Russell was seen leaving her attorney’s office in Birmingham Friday morning ahead of a Hoover police news conference. Also seen leaving attorney Emory Anthony’s office with Carlee Russell were her parents, Talitha and Carlos Russell. https://t.co/wmghJcK6bS pic.twitter.com/ZAXmS0aY24
— WVTM 13 (@WVTM13) July 28, 2023
At the conference, Nick Derzis, the Hoover Police Chief, took the podium. He explained that Russell’s actions on Thursday, July 13, “created panic” not only in Hoover, Alabama, but also in the country.
“As we all know, actions can have consequences and that’s why we are here today. Her decisions that night created panic and alarm for the citizens of our city, and even across the nation as concern grew that a kidnapper was on the loose, using a small child as bait…”
Derzis recounted the actions taken by “numerous” law enforcement agencies in the search for Russell. Additionally, he cited the efforts of “many private citizens” who also “volunteered their time and energy” to assist in the search for her.
“Numerous law enforcement agencies, both local and federal, began working tirelessly not only to bring Carlee home to her family, but locate a kidnapper that we now know never existed. Many private citizens volunteered their time and energy into looking for a potential kidnapping victim that we now know was never in any danger.”
As for why Russell may have committed the hoax, Derzis also shared his response, as per PEOPLE.
“I wish I could tell you. I think only Carlee knows, and maybe her attorney knows now.”
The Police Chief Also Acknowledged Those Who Feel Russell Should Receive Greater Charges
During the press conference, Derzis also acknowledged the feelings of those who are “shocked and appalled” that Russell will only receive misdemeanor charges.
“… judging from the amount of phone calls and emails we have received from people all across the country, I know many are shocked and appalled that Ms. Russell is only being charged with two misdemeanors, despite all of the panic and disruption her actions caused…”
Additionally, he explained that “the existing law only allows” for those charges to be filed. However, he vowed that in moving forward, he would reach out to state legislators for changes to be made.
“The existing law only allows the charges that were filed, to be filed. I can tell you that I will be contacting our state legislators on behalf of law enforcement in Montgomery and asking them to look at this law as applied to these facts and urge them to add an enhancement to the current legislation when someone falsely reports a kidnapping or other violent crime.”
Before concluding, Derzis shared that authorities are still investigating where Russell was during her 49-hour alleged disappearance. Additionally, they are also working to discover whether she acted by herself, as per CBS 42.
Ultimately, authorities explained that they don’t consider Russell’s actions a “victimless crime” and intend to “fully prosecute” the case.
Carlee Russell was booked into the Hoover City Jail and freed on bond today.
Russell, who just days ago turned 26, is charged with false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident.
Both crimes are misdemeanors. The two charges each carry a $1,000… pic.twitter.com/kRkFOqTbo6
— ∼Marietta (@MariettaDaviz) July 28, 2023