Murderer of Vancouver Teen Could Get Out of Prison

A judge sentenced him to life in prison, for the rape and murder of a Vancouver teenager. But Roy Russell could get out of prison, after lawmakers changed a Washington state law. Russell’s behind bars, for strangling 14 year old Chelsea Harrison in his Vancouver apartment in 2005. At that time he was 45. Investigators say Chelsea was at his apartment with a group of teens. He tried to rape her. Investigators say she fought back and he killed her.

Though a judge sentenced him to life, lawmakers changed the state’s “3 Strikes Law” in 2021, allowing as many as 114 inmates including Russell eligible to be resentenced.

Her grandmother Sylvia Johnson’s reaction: “Absolutely enraged!  I was so angry.”  And Jim Senescu, the former prosecutor who charged Russell’s case in Clark County, says, “It’s a deplorable thing that the lawmakers did.”

Our news partner KGW reports lawmakers who approved changing the law, would not comment.

Russell’s resentencing is scheduled for October 14th.