Brookland man charged with abusing bedridden wife

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - A Brookland man is facing felony charges for abusing his bedridden wife. 

The Craighead County Sheriff's Department arrested 57-year-old Charles Russell early Tuesday morning.

According to the police report, Russell beat his wife and threatened to kill her.

Police said Russell also removed the battery from her phone so she could not call for help.

However, she found a way and police say it could have possibly saved her life.

"Our victim here had a Life Alert system," Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd said.

Russell's wife turned to the emergency response system around her neck as her last resort.

"You can't expect her to be able to get up and walk off in that situation or hide or use the phone," Boyd said.

One touch of a button put Russell's wife in touch with a Life Alert member, who then contacted local dispatchers.

"Approximately two o'clock this morning, Craighead County deputies were dispatched to County Road 792 in reference to a domestic-type disturbance," Boyd said.

According to the police report, when officers arrived, Russell was yelling and cursing at his wife and then started doing the same to the officers.

Russell would not calm down and the officers arrested him.

Russell's wife told police he threatened to kill her and also hit her in the head and choked her. She has the injuries to prove this.

"She stated there had been ongoing physical and mental abuse by her husband," Boyd said. "This wasn't the first incident where it had occurred."

Police also responded to domestic disturbances at their home in 2009 and 2010. However, police did not file charges against Russell then because his wife had no physical evidence of abuse.

Now that police have evidence, Russell is facing felony charges of aggravated assault and abuse of an adult.

"It is a special case when you're looking at someone who is handicapped or disabled where they're basically bedridden," Boyd said. "It is a much more severe crime in my eyes and by law."

Sheriff Boyd said Russell may face even more charges as the department's investigation continues.

Russell posted his $3,500 bond Tuesday afternoon. He is free until his May 30 court date.

According to the police report, Russell's wife told police if he went to jail, he would kill her.

A judge issued Russell a no-contact order and police will up their patrol in his neighborhood.

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