Monday, October 8, 2012
Russom pleads guilty to two murders
Jeremy is the son of Mike's oldest sister, Sherry. Central Prison in Raleigh [NC} is a rough place. Although the crimes that Jeremy committed are horrible, please pray for him. ****************************************** http://www2.wataugademocrat.com/News/story/Russom-pleads-guilty-to-two-murders-id-009218 by Kellen Moore Jeremy Daniel Russom, 29, will spend life in prison without parole after pleading guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder. Russom was charged in November 2010 with the murders of Heather Baumgardner, the mother of his children, and her boyfriend, Barry Cook, at Baumgardner's home on Mabel School Road in Zionville. Russom was arrested about four hours after the shooting after fleeing from officers near Country Retreat Family Billiards in Foscoe. A 6-year-old boy, the son of Baumgardner and Russom, witnessed the shooting, according to police. In an interview the morning after the incident, the boy identified his father as the shooter and told authorities that Russom had broken into the house and was waiting for them that day, Capt. Dee Dee Rominger said Monday in court. Baumgardner, 24, and Cook, 39, each suffered two gunshot wounds, believed to have come from a .38-caliber handgun that was located in a yard near the crime scene, according to statements made in court Monday. Both died at the scene. In court Monday, Judge Gary Gavenus proceeded quickly to accept a plea arrangement between District Attorney Jerry Wilson and Russom's appointed attorneys, Garland Baker and Don Willey. Prosecutors indicated in February 2011 that they intended to seek the death penalty if Russom were convicted; the plea bargain removed that from consideration. Instead, Russom will serve one life sentence in prison without parole. Russom also must pay $18,823 in restitution and a $5,000 fine, along with reimbursements to the state for his attorneys' fees. Gavenus also recommended substance abuse treatment and psychiatric counseling for Russom while in prison. Russom is not recommended for work release, Gavenus added, and must not have any contact with the immediate family of either victim. More than two dozen family members and friends of Baumgardner and Cook, as well as family of Russom, sat in the courtroom during the half-hour hearing Monday. Jolene Baumgardner, Heather Baumgardner's mother, presented a letter to Gavenus during the proceeding that was not read aloud. Russom declined to comment when given the opportunity in court. Sheriff Len Hagaman said in an email Monday evening that Russom was already on his way to Central Prison in Raleigh.