A well-known Huntsville real estate broker said he pleaded not guilty to charges of harassment and disorderly conduct in court Wednesday.
Russ Russell spent less than 2 hours in the Madison County Jail after turning himself in on Tuesday. He didn't want to go on camera about his arrest and referred us to his attorney who told us Russell's innocent.
People who work in the buildings near where the accused harassment happened said it lasted several months. No one in the community wanted to talk with us about the high-profile real estate agent's arrest because they feared retaliation.
Some people told WAAY 31 off camera that the harassment was warranted because of the tenant's behavior. However, others said Russell took it way too far.
Police said a Huntsville attorney, Jennifer Gray, rented office space at Merchants Walk from Russell just a few doors down from his office, and she is the one who brought these charges against him.
We learned Russell was cited for disorderly conduct after Gray said he pointed and shouted "war pigs" at her. His harassment charge came after he passed out flyers showing how Gray parked her vehicle. A sign was also posted that calls her out not only for her parking, but also for not picking up her "cancer sticks and dog poop."
Gray's office is no longer located in the building. She wouldn't tell us where she has moved and declined our request for an interview.
Russell shared with us Gray was the worst tenant he's ever had. Gray told police he was not a good landlord.
Russell's attorney said Russell told him that he properly terminated Gray's lease by giving her 30 days notice.
The attorney said over the phone that his client is innocent and the case is set to go to trial towards the end of next month. He said Russell is not the owner of property, and he is the real estate agent over the leases.
Huntsville police shared with us that Gray also filed a burglary report last month. She believed Russell took a bag of Dodge's Chicken out of a trashcan and put in on her office chair. However, investigators learned Gray had changed the locks to her office before the incident happened, and don't believe Russell was behind the act.
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