$1M bond given to suspect in murder of Middletown mom

$1M bond given to suspect in murder of Middletown mom
Brittany Russell (Provided photo)
Brittany Russell (Provided photo)

MONTGOMERY CO., OH (FOX19) - A Dayton, OH man facing multiple charges, including murder, in the February shooting death of Brittany Russell was given a $1 million dollar bond Monday, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr announced.

Dayton Police located the 29-year-old Middletown mom with a gunshot wound to the head in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Feb. 10. Her daughter, Haven Edwards, was unharmed in the backseat and being kept warm by the running engine.

Russell's death officially was ruled a homicide after the Montgomery County coroner said Russell was shot in the head more than once.

Heck approved formal charges for Curtis Burdette Jr., 37, of Dayton, in the case. Burdette faces the following charges:

  • One count of aggravated murder
  • One count of murder (purposeful)
  • Two counts of murder (while committing felonious assault)
  • Two counts of felonious assault
  • One count of having weapons while under disability
  • One count child endangering.

All counts, except having weapons while under disability and endangering children, have three-year firearm specifications attached, according to Heck.

Burdette is in custody in the Montgomery County Jail on an unrelated drug charge.

Russell, who was not a custodial parent, went to the father's Middletown home Feb. 9 and persuaded a babysitter to let her take Haven, saying she would bring her back in a few hours. She never returned and family members contacted authorities.

Dayton police found the child and her slain mother the next morning. It's unclear how long they had been inside the vehicle.

The running car heater was a "saving grace" that kept the baby alive, officials said.

Middletown Police returned the child to her father, Chris Edwards.

Investigators have not said whether the shooting was random or targeted. No weapons or drugs were recovered from her car, police said.

A second "person of interest," Brandon Carr, is currently in police custody on a federal detainer.  Last month, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office said officials need to further investigate before they hand down charges against Carr.

The case is ongoing and remains under investigation.

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