Russell Free, Indictment Pending

    Michael Russell, who had been arrested by East Hampton Village police earlier this month for allegedly purchasing several pairs of sneakers at Sneakerology, a Main Street shop, on Sept. 2, using others' credit and debit cards without permission, was released from county jail last Thursday, when his attorney withdrew a waiver of his right to be released if not indicted within 120 hours of his arrest.

    He is facing four felony charges arising from the incident and 11 felony charges in Massachusetts after committing what police there alleged was an armed and masked invasion of a student’s apartment in Worcester last January. Mr. Russell had been attending Becker College in the same town.

    His attorney for the East Hampton charges, Sheila Mullahy of the Legal Aid Society, had initially waived Mr. Russell’s right to be released, to allow time for a negotiation with Thomas Spotta, the Suffolk County district attorney.

    Because he had already been convicted of two felonies he was not eligible for bail, so he would not have been released even if Ms. Mullahy had not waived his right. But, with no indicment in place within 120 hours, the law required his release. According to statements made in East Hampton Justice Court last Thursday, the negotiations have ended. 

    “I did speak to the felony A.D.A.,” Maggie Bopp, an assistant district attorney who covers the East End, said in court last Thursday. The A.D.A. in charge of the case had offered Mr. Russell a reduced charge in return for a guilty plea. “At this time, the offer is revoked. She will be indicting him next week,” she said.

    Mr. Russell denied the charges before he was arrested, telling police that the holder of the cards he used was someone he had a personal relationship with, and that she had given him the cards to use. One of the cards was provided to Aisha Ali by her employer, Stony Hill Stables of Amagansett; the other was her own.


This story has been edited from an earlier version to clarify whose credit and debit cards were allegedly used by Mr. Russell.