Hearing set in Russell case

A preliminary hearing for Ryan Gerald Russell, the 35-year-old homebuilder who allegedly murdered 11-year-old Katherine Helen Gillespie, is set for next week.

Russell will appear before Judge Dan Reeves on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m., said Shelby County Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Bostick.

“There will be testimony taken, and I fully expect the investigators to testify during that hearing,” Bostick said.

Russell, who is facing a capital murder charge, was Gillespie’s legal guardian and second cousin. Gillespie, a student at Oak Mountain Intermediate School, was found dead on the night of June 16 in the Inverness home she shared with Russell on Kerry Downs Road. She suffered a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Authorities also found Russell in the house, where he was in an unresponsive state. Russell was hospitalized and later taken into police custody.

Russell is being held in the Shelby County Jail without bond, Bostick said.