San Jose Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Connection with Drug Death of 16-year-old

A San Jose man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of seven felonies following the death of a 16-year-old girl in Santa Cruz County, prosecutors said.

The victim was found dead in Michael James Russell's mother's residence in Corralitos on Nov. 12, 2021. An investigation by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office found that she died of an overdose of four separate narcotics.

Russell, 24, will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from custody for engaging in sexual activity with the girl and another 17-year-old victim. He was also convicted of furnishing narcotics to the two teenage girls, according to a press release from Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell.

The District Attorney's Office said the victim sought narcotics from multiple sources in the days leading to her death, which influenced a decision not to charge Russell as culpable in her death, even though he was one of the suppliers.

Prosecutors called the case tragic and said it had had a devastating impact on the victim's family and the community.


One Comment

  1. The suspect is a SJ man. The crime occurred in Santa Cruz. So why is the story photo of a San Jose police car from 1998?????

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