A jury trial has been set for the man charged in the January 2018 murder of a Crossett woman.
Brian J. Russell of Crossett is charged with the death of Shannon Jordan Ridener. An order filed in the Ashley County Clerk’s Office set a pre-trial hearing for Russell before 10th Judicial District Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson at 9 a.m. Jan. 22. Russell’s jury trial will be the week of Feb. 5 in the Ashley County Courthouse in Hamburg.
Russell was charged with Murder I, Abuse of Corpse and Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons in the spring of 2018. Russell went for a mental evaluation in the fall of 2018 and is now scheduled for jury trial. A forensic evaluation filed in November stated that “at the time of the alleged offenses Russell did not have a mental disease or mental defect.”
Ridener’s minor son reported her missing in mid-January 2018, and her body was found in a neighboring county Feb. 15.
The state medical examiner’s autopsy found that Ridener died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruling the manner of death a homicide.
Russell — who was already in jail in Ashley County on unrelated charges — was charged in the case in March.
During the investigation, the police recovered surveillance videos of Russell and Ridener at a convenience store in Bastrop wearing the same clothes she was found in, and affidavits filed with the court said when he was arrested for DWI Jan. 14 — the day after Ridener was last seen alive — his clothes appeared to be covered in blood.
A witness reportedly told investigators Russell had confessed over the phone to killing Ridener and asked the witness to help clean up the scene.