Carlee Russell pleads guilty to faking her kidnapping and apologizes for grave mistake

An Alabama woman, Carlee Russell, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts related to filing a false police report after admitting to lying about being kidnapped, sparking a national search last summer. In Jefferson County Circuit Court, Russell received supervised probation for 12 months, a requirement to repay almost $18,000 in restitution to the city of Hoover, and completion of 100 hours of community service. Judge David Carpenter suspended her two six-month sentences, citing a waste of government resources.

Russell expressed remorse in court, apologizing for the panic and fear caused by her actions and acknowledging the pain inflicted on her family, community, and those involved in the search efforts. Her attorney praised the judge’s decision and emphasized Russell’s apology. The hoax began when Russell called 911 to report seeing a child on the interstate in Hoover, triggering a massive search effort. However, police later discovered inconsistencies in her story, including internet searches related to Amber Alerts and abduction movies. Russell ultimately admitted to fabricating the kidnapping story. She had previously been found guilty of misdemeanor charges in municipal court, with a judge recommending a one-year prison sentence.

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