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Family of Pauls Valley woman who died in police custody seeks answers

Oklahoman Modified: February 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm •  Published: February 4, 2013
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Russell told the nurse she couldn’t lie down because it hurt and asked for some pain medication, according to the report.

Officers described Russell as combative, yelling, cussing and grabbing at the hospital staff members, who decided to release her because she was uncooperative, police said.

A police officer helping Russell pack her things found two pill bottles that did not belong to her; one contained 21

pills of Oxycodone and seven pills of penicillin, and the other had 27 pills of Alprazolam, according to the police report.

Police said a female relative arrived at the hospital and told police both pill bottles belong to an older family member. The officer noted he was too busy to get additional information from the relative.

Russell was arrested on complaints of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and taken to Garvin County jail.

The emergency room doctor who saw her determined she was “fit for incarceration,” the police report states.

A friend remembers

Russell leaves behind a son, Wyatt, 10, who is under the care of her sister.

The family declined to comment for this story.

Jeremy Potts, Russell’s close friend since third grade, said he would cook out with Russell and Wyatt frequently. Being a mom and raising her son was what Russell liked to do best, he said.

“For Jamie Lynn, it was all about Wyatt,” Potts said.

“He’s a real good kid and a dang good worker for a young kid, and he was growing up to be a good country boy. That was the only thing he had, was his mama.”

Potts said he grew up working on Russell’s parents’ farm in Garvin County, herding cattle and plowing fields.

“We grew up on their farm,” Potts said.

“I don’t know how, but she was always right beside us working as hard as everyone else. She was the only teenage woman that could handle a full-grown steer and make it do what she wanted.”

Results of a toxicology report from the medical examiner’s office haven’t been released.

Russell’s friends and family say she never had been in trouble with drugs.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network shows no reports of drug charges.

Potts said he used drugs after high school and even served time in jail, but he never knew Russell to take drugs.

“She wasn’t a drug addict at all, but she never looked down on me and she would never do those things,” Potts said.

“We talked on a daily basis. I never understood how much of a good person she was until she was gone. Not having her to call is bugging the hell out of me.”

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Newsok.com. Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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