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January 15, 2013

Eufaula man set for trial on child abuse charge

McALESTER — A Eufaula man is set to go to trial Jan. 17 for one felony count of child abuse by injury.

Billy Jack Russell, 39, was charged with the felony in May in Pittsburg County District Court. He is accused of beating a 3-year-old boy with a paddle and his hand.

The trial is expected to span over a two-day period and District 18 Judge Thomas Bartheld is presiding over court proceedings.

According to court records, Russell allegedly struck the young boy with his hand and a paddle in the butt, back and legs.

A police affidavit indicates that Russell was attempting to “potty train” the young boy. The child refused to use the toilet and Russell allegedly “got a paddle and started spanking” him, the affidavit states.

When authorities arrived on the scene, Russell was gone, but they noticed “bruising around the outside of the diaper” and when they took the little boy’s diaper off, they saw his “buttock was completely bruised,” the affidavit states.

If convicted, Russell is facing up to life in prison.

Russell’s attorney, Brecken Wagner, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

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