With things all but wrapped up in the Kelly Rindfleisch case (there is a status hearing on December 19 regarding her appeal), everyone is naturally turning their eyes to Tim Russell, who is next in the first round of Walkergate trials.
And things do not look good for him. Not good at all.
Russell, so far, has only been charged with embezzling money from a veterans fund and from two political campaigns. The District Attorney's Office already has a mountain of evidence against him on this case.
And we just learned that his cohort in crime, Kelly Rindfleisch, has promised to turn state's witness against him. That has to really sting after we also learned that Walker and WISGOP were bankrolling her defense fund.
On top of that, Darlene Wink, who was set to be sentenced this past Wednesday, now has had her sentencing date pushed all the say back to January 10 of next year. That will give her plenty of time to sell Russell out in order to save her own hide.
Besides the embezzlement charges he is already facing, Russell could also be charged with so many other things, such as multiple counts of misconduct in office, that he could (and should) be put away for life.
And on top of that, he is already flat broke and so has an attorney appointed to him through the Public Defender's Office. While Attorney Parker C. Mathers is, by all reports, a very able and good lawyer, he is less likely to go through the more frivolous moves that his previous attorneys have done.
Russell already has been a goldmine of information, including Walker's stonewalling the investigation (bet he's real glad he made that choice). But despite his giving us so many things pointing to Walker, Russell has thus far refused any and all plea bargain offers. His last hearing was supposed to have been his last chance at a plea deal, which he again declined to take, but I wouldn't be surprised that if Russell finally came to his senses, he would try to get a last minute deal.
So now Russell has ten days to make the biggest decision of his life.
Russell can take the fall for his hero and very special friend, even though Walker has totally thrown him under the bus by supporting Rindfleisch and abandoning him.
But if Russell is entertaining the romantic thought of being a martyr for the cause, that if he fell on his secret router, he would somehow save Walker from facing indictment and trail, he'd better think again.
As we learned from the presentation ADA Bruce Landgraf made at Rindfleisch's sentencing, the DA's Office has, oh, a Mystery Dumpster O'Fun full of evidence on a lot of other people. In other words, Russell's testimony, or that of Wink or Rindfleisch would be the icing on the cake, but are not necessary for the DA to proceed.
Russell should also give thought to the fact that in these sorts of cases, they start at the bottom and work their way up. If he takes it to trial, that allows the DA to enter all sorts of things into evidence, things that would be aimed at Russell but would go a lot further in implicating Walker as well as many others.
So even by falling on his sword, Russell will still help bring Walker that much closer to justice.
If I were Russell, I'd have taken the plea deal long ago. There is no way for him to save Walker from himself, so he might as well help the only person he still can help.