Carlee Russell Avoids Jail Time, Receives Probation Sentence For Kidnapping Hoax

Carlee Russell, the nursing student from Alabama who staged her own abduction in July 2023, has avoided jail time and received a probation sentence after pleading guilty, according to

On March 21, Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff Judge David Carpenter decided to suspend the six-month county jail sentence against Russell, citing that her incarceration would be an unnecessary drain on government resources given that she is not considered a threat to the community.

As an alternative, she will be placed under supervised probation for 12 months, NBC News noted. Additionally, Russell was ordered to pay close to $18,000 in restitution for the July 13 incident. Under the terms of her probation sentence, she must also enroll in mental health counseling and provide proof of enrollment.

As she begged Judge Carpenter for a lenient sentence, Russell apologized for her elaborate kidnapping hoax. 

“I made a grave mistake while trying to fight through various emotional issues and stress,” Russell said, struggling through tears.

She added, “I absolutely regret my decision and in hindsight wish I had cried for help in a totally different manner. My prayer is that I will be extended grace and be given the opportunity to redeem who I truly am and restore the positively esteemed character that I have worked so hard to obtain for the 25 years of my life prior to this incident.”

In October, a judge in Hoover, Alabama, found Russell guilty of making false reports to law enforcement and fabricating an incident, both misdemeanor charges stemming from her widely publicized fake kidnapping. The judge initially suggested a one-year jail term, along with restitution of $17,874 and two fines totaling $831 each.

At the time Russell entered a blind plea – a non-negotiable plea where the prosecution is given authority to decide what they believe sentencing should be. 


At a press conference on July 24, 2023, Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis revealed that Russell admitted to lying about her 48-hour disappearance which took the media world by storm. 

The nursing student sent a statement via her lawyer, Emory Anthony, admitting that “there was no kidnapping on July 13” and that she staged the fake kidnapping “alone.”

Russell went missing after she reported seeing a toddler walking along the I-459 highway. When she returned home on foot on July 15, the Alabama resident told Hoover Police that she was abducted by a man with orange hair with help from an unknown woman. She claimed she was held captive before escaping from her “fake” abductors. 

However, officials from the Hoover Police Department found strange evidence that didn’t add up with the nursing student’s story. According to Chief Derzis, Russell searched for the Liam Neeson abduction thriller Taken on her phone a few days before the kidnapping. She also conducted a web search for tips on how to steal money from a register without getting caught and one-way bus tickets to Nashville, Tennessee.


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The post Carlee Russell Avoids Jail Time, Receives Probation Sentence For Kidnapping Hoax appeared first on NewsOne.

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