DATE: July 31, 2023

CASE: Russell A. James (Case #21FE003105)

PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Ryan Roebuck, Major Crimes Unit

The Honorable Shelleyanne Chang sentenced Russell James to 149 years to life in prison.  On August 30, 2022, a jury convicted James of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, two counts of assault with a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.  The jury also found true personal use of a semi-automatic firearm allegations.  Allegations that James has a prior strike conviction for robbery in 1999 and 2014 were found true at the sentencing hearing.

On October 3, 2020, James entered a Quick Shop Market, pointed a semi-automatic handgun with a red laser at the store clerk and demanded money.  The clerk handed over cash and James fled on foot.  On October 11, 2020, the victim was sitting in his parked vehicle outside of a Smart & Final waiting for his wife.  James approached the vehicle and pointed the same semi-automatic handgun at the victim while demanding money. When the victim said he had no money or property on him, James struck the victim in the face before fleeing the scene.  On October 15, 2020, another victim was sitting in a parked car waiting for her friend.  James approached the car, flung the door open and began assaulting the victim while demanding she give him money and property.  James again pointed a semi-automatic handgun with a laser at the victim’s head and eventually hit her in the face with the butt of the weapon before fleeing.  In each incident, James wore a hat and a neck gator to conceal his identity. The Sacramento Police Department received an anonymous tip that the robbery suspect was possibly parolee, Russell James.  The Sacramento Area Apprehension Team conducted surveillance on James. When officers attempted to stop the vehicle James was riding in, James exited the vehicle and ran into a Walmart where he was soon apprehended.  It was determined James hid a Taurus .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun inside a store shelf. Further inspection of the firearm revealed it was the same weapon used in all three incidents and was unregistered.