Man given life without parole for machete murder of man in front of children

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the backgroundCobb County Superior Court (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

According to a public information release from Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady Jr., Rendell Russell was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 10 years by Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge Robert D. Leonard for a murder and a variety of other charges.

The murder took place in October of 2020, when Rendell returned to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment with a machete after he was forced to leave, and repeatedly stabbed Gregory James.

Russell was found guilty of “Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Possession of a Knife During Commission of a Felony, Cruelty to Children in the Third Degree, Theft by Taking, and Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon” by a Cobb County jury on March 18.

The public information release described the murder as follows:

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Russell’s charges stemmed from allegations that he murdered Gregory James (26) in Russell’s ex-girlfriend’s apartment while five children under the age of 18 years old were present. On October 27, 2020, Russell entered his ex-girlfriend’s apartment uninvited and was forced to leave. A short time later, Russell returned to the apartment with a machete. Russell used a key that he had secretly kept and slipped back into the apartment. Once inside the apartment, Russell stabbed James over ten times with the machete. James died as a result of his injuries.

Assistant District Attorney Larissa Ollivierre and Senior Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco prosecuted the case.

Witnesses in the trial included “Russell’s ex-girlfriend, the children, Cobb County Police officers, Puckett EMS personnel, and the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office. “

The jury found Russell guilty on all counts of the indictment.

ADA Ollivierre and ADA Tanjuatco said in a statement, “This was a senseless and heinous murder. Gregory James will never see his son graduate elementary, middle, or high school, and no verdict will change that. Still, we are thankful that the jury’s verdict brings some form of closure to Mr. James’ family and friends. May he rest in peace.”

According to the public information release:

The District Attorney’s trial team included Assistant District Attorney Larissa Ollivierre, Senior Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco, Investigator Ed Stockinger, Deputy Chief Investigator Keith Le’Mon, Assistant Chief Investigator Douglas Maxwell, Investigator Schemika Curtis, Investigator Cameron Watson, Investigator Darius McClure, Investigator Tammy Fondas, Victim Advocate Caroline DeSantis, Legal Administrative Assistant Kayla Willis and Legal Administrative Assistant Dawn Carter.

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