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Slain mother sought protection order from violent ex-boyfriend

TNS Regional News • Sep 1, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The Cuyahoga Falls woman found stabbed to death outside her home had obtained a protection order against a former boyfriend, whom she feared would one day kill her.

No suspect has been identified by police in the death of Amanda Russell, 40.

Russell’s body was found behind her duplex on 8th Street when her daughter, 14, came home from school Thursday afternoon.

A search warrant return filed by Falls police shows detectives recovered a black knife sheath in the garage behind Russell’s home as well as blood samples from the driveway and a backyard fence.

Russell’s car keys were found in the driveway along with a cell phone, the documents show. Police also found a black plastic bag containing clothing left in the driveway and a receipt for carpet cleaning that was purchased Thursday was found in the kitchen.

The same search warrant documents show police recovered an iced tea bottle and a number of cigarette butts left in the driveway.

Russell’s parents are taking care of her daughter. They declined comment Friday while outside the home.

As police continue to search for her killer, court records show Russell was a victim of domestic violence during a tumultuous relationship with an ex-boyfriend that dates back several years.

Russell had obtained a protection order against the man in late 2012 and it remained in effect through this year, court records show. Earlier this year, the man was convicted of violating the order and assaulting Russell inside her former home in Akron.

The divorced mother of one later sought to have the order voluntarily dismissed in June 2013, but changed her mind the next day, court records show.

That man, described in court records as an ex-boyfriend, was questioned by authorities Thursday evening at a Euclid-area park where he was arrested during a confrontation with park rangers.

In seeking the protection order, filed in Summit County Domestic Relations Court in December 2012, Russell names the ex-boyfriend and alleges a history of violence, including assaults, in the preceding months.

She said she feared that the man would one day kill her.

“I didn’t want to press [charges] for fear of more violence, since then once a week he has slapped me, choked me or hit me in verbal altercations and won’t let me leave [the] house when altercations start,” she wrote.

She said the violence “is escalating and I am scared he will kill me if I don’t start this process.”

The boyfriend was later convicted in Akron Municipal Court of domestic violence and sentenced to 10 days in jail.

By the following June, Russell sought to have the protection order lifted against the man.

“I would like to work things out on our own without court involvement,” she wrote.

The very next day, she changed her mind again.

“I would have liked to work things out on our own, but I just don’t think it is possible,” she wrote in court records.

In October 2013, the boyfriend was arrested for violating the protection order, but the case was later dismissed.

Earlier this year, with the protection order still in place, Russell called Akron police and said the ex-boyfriend came inside her home to talk and then punched her when they started to argue. During the February attack, he knocked her to the ground and repeatedly struck her face, police reports show.

Police said Russell suffered bruised eyes and multiple lacerations.

The boyfriend was arrested three months later, pleaded no contest in Akron Municipal Court and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating the protection order, misdemeanor assaults and criminal trespassing. He was released from jail after serving two months.

Last March, Russell called police complaining that her ex-boyfriend was calling her Princeton Avenue home and harassing her and threatening to damage her vehicle. That same month she said the man was calling her in violation of the protection order.

The homicide death is the first in Cuyahoga Falls since 2007, when a 10-week-old baby, Nathan Hoffman, died after suffocating on tissue placed in his mouth by his father.


By Phil Trexler - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)

©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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