Russell drug case sent to grand jury

MOBILE, ALA. - The drug possession case against Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was sent to a grand jury Wednesday by a judge.

The move came despite testimony that the codeine drink found in Russell’s home belonged to a longtime friend. District Judge Charles McKnight questioned the credibility given by Marcus Stevenson, who claimed he was the one who made the codeine-laced drink found in a raid of Russell’s home on July 5. Johnny Thornton, Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputy, testified the orange-colored drink in Russell’s bedroom appeared freshly poured.

Russell, who was in the bedroom, told investigators the drink was his Kool-Aid. Thorton said the drink later tested positive for codeine. Thornton added that there were nine people in the house and a codeine bottle without a prescription was found in a cabinet that was not in the bedroom

According to Russell’s attorney, Donald Briskman, Stevenson told an officer at the home that the bottle belonged to him, not Russell. No action was taken against Stevenson during the raid or immediately after.

“They didn’t arrest him at the scene. They targeted JaMarcus. ... He should have been discharged today,” Briskman said.

At the hearing, Stevenson testified that he mixed the drink and didn’t make it for Russell. Afterward, Stevenson was handcuffed and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was released on bond.

Stevenson’s attorney, Greg Evans, said Stevenson was “sworn to tell the truth and that is what he did.” Earlier, however, Evans raised objections to the questioning of his client, citing his rights against self-incrimination.

Russell was a Mobile prep star and at LSU and became the No. 1 draft choice by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. The Raiders released him this year following three disappointing seasons.

It could be months before the grand jury decides if the evidence warrants an indictment or not.

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