Wife testifies in deadly home invasion case

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

MAYFIELD, Ky. - A jury was seated late Tuesday morning in the Eddie Russell case.

Investigators say Russell planned a robbery that went wrong, leaving the homeowner dead and his wife seriously injured. They say Russell knew Sharon and Richard Jett, of Mayfield, and drove James Kirby and Richard Phipps to their home to rob them of guns and money in February 2012.

Richard Jett was shot twice and later died, while Sharon Jett recovered from five gunshot wounds. Investigators say Russell fled the scene when he heard those shots.

James Kirby is serving a 30-year sentence while Richard Phipps is serving a life term for their roles in the deadly home invasion.

Sharon Jett, 55, who has had 6 surgeries since the shooting testified Tuesday afternoon.

 

She said she was asleep in the bedroom when she awoke to her husband's cries for help. Even with his life in jeopardy, Jett told the court her husband's priority was her.

"Richard screamed, 'Sharon, get your gun. They're shooting us.' I grabbed my gun along the nightstand."

About that time, Richard's daughter, Amanda, then 30, awoke in another bedroom. She recalled calling 911 for help and using her body to shield her 2-year-old son.

"My son is hysterically crying. He does not know what's going on. I think there's another shot, 2 maybe," she testified.

The men, who had already shot her father twice, once in the abdomen and once in the hand had turned their attention to Sharon. Sharon Jett testified she shot back and then heard, "Kill her."

To survive, she says, she played dead, "I faked my own death to keep from being killed. I laid with my eyes wide open."

The two men went under her bed, after a lock box. She said it sometimes contained up to $25,000 but in recent years, the couple had put their money in a safe in the garage.

It was Richard Jett who escaped to a neighbor's house for help. He died 3 days later. Through tears, Amanda Jett remembered her final moment with her father who was in and out of consciousness, telling the jury he squeezed her hand and told her he loved her.

On Wednesday, James Kirby and Richard Phipps are expected to testify. Later in the week, Eddie Russell will testify in his own defense.

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