Eddie Russell testifies, says he didn't plan robbery
MAYFIELD, Ky. - The trial against a Graves County man accused of planning a deadly home invasion continued Wednesday. Eddie Russell is charged with Complicity to Murder, Complicity to Burglary and Complicity to Robbery.
Investigators say in February 2012, Russell drove two men to the Mayfield home his ex-girlfriend's parents shared. They say he planned to rob Richard and Sharon Jett of guns and money.
Richard Jett was shot twice and died three days later, while Sharon survived five gunshot wounds.
Richard Phipps and James Kirby, who investigators say forced their way into the couple's home and shot them have taken plea deals. Both were called to testify Wednesday.
When prosecutor Richie Kemp put Richard Phipps on the stand he did not waste any time, asking if he had ever been to Graves County, Mayfield, or knew the Jetts. Phipps responded 'no' to each question.
But in February 2012, Phipps, nicknamed 'Bones' testified he was on his way there. He said Russell was driving, heading to the Jett home.
"He told me they kept a lot of money under their bed and it wouldn't be hard to get it."
Phipps' cousin, James Kirby was also in the car. Jurors saw surveillance video of Kirby and Russell in a Dollar General store that night buying stockings, gloves, and tape.
Kirby, who admitted he and Phipps had spent the day smoking meth and crack says he only learned of the plan that day. He said his memories were clouded telling the court, "The night just happened."
But Phipps testified Russell had been talking about and planning the crime for weeks. That night, he says, the pair exchanged dozens of text messages. He said Russell needed money to pay the taxes on his bar business and he needed money to fuel a drug habit.
"I was down and out living at a hotel with my cousin, sleeping on the floor," he remembered.
He says while in the car Russell gave him a gun. Kirby remembered Russell saying the 'old man' was 'stubborn' and instructing the pair, "You might have to shoot him."
When Eddie Russell testified he told a different story. He said he met Phipps at the bar he owned. He says the two struck up a friendly conversation one night, talking about women that had wronged them. That is when Russell says he opened up about Amanda Jett, an ex-girlfriend in Mayfield who he says owed him money.
Russell says when Phipps texted him a few weeks later about getting a job done in Mayfield, he did not connect the two. When he asked for a ride, Russell assumed it was because he had a flat tire.
But when he picked up Phipps and Kirby at a hotel he says Phipps held a gun to his head and told him to drive to Mayfield. He says it was the very gun he reported stolen from his home weeks before.
"I was too scared," he answered when asked why, when the group stopped several times, he did not attempt to get help. He says Phipps threatened to burn his home down if he was to "snitch."
"I didn't give them a gun, I didn't plan this," he said.
With Russell's testimony, both sides rested. Closing arguments will be heard Thursday morning before the case goes to the jury.