Lying Carlee Russell could face up to a year in prison or a $6,000 fine if cops charge her for making up story about being kidnapped during her police interview
Carlee Russell could face up to a year behind bars if cops decide to charge her for fabricating her kidnapping during her police interview, a legal expert has revealed.
Nursing student Russell, 25, captured headlines after she went missing while on a 911 call on July 13, during which she reported finding a toddler by the side of the road.
After she turned up two days later claiming that a man with 'orange hair' abducted her, she told police that she had been kidnapped and spun an elaborate tale about escaping to her freedom.
However, she later admitted she'd made the whole saga up, confessing in a written statement that the kidnapping never occurred and it was 'a mistake.'
The fantasy story could now land her in hot water, as a legal expert said he believes that she may be facing a slew of charges for lying to police.
'Depending on what she told law enforcement and what agency she told it to she could be looking at obstruction of justice. She could be looking at filing false police reports. All of which in Alabama are class A misdemeanor,' said attorney Edward Merrell to ABC3340.
Russell's attorney Emory Anthony gave a muted update on the case after speaking with Hoover Police about the 25-year-old on Tuesday morning. Russell has previously apologized to cops for the fraud.
Anthony said he was still in discussions over any potential charges being filed, adding that authorities were still trying to 'identify some things about where we go from here - responsibilities that we need to take care of.'
While Russell's legal team await the next stages, Merrell posited that she is facing charges that could come with a year-long jail sentence, or a fine of up to $6,000.
Attorney Edward Merrell (pictured) said Russell could be facing serious criminal charges for the hoax
'She could be found liable civilly,' Merrell added. 'Based on the amount of resources that were exhausted, the feds could come in and ask for a bill.
'The city could ask for a bill, whoever participated in it could ask that she have to pay back the resources and time.'
Merrell said as Russell faces potential legal jeopardy, her lawyers should focus their arguments on her mental health at the time of the call to give her the best chance in court.
'As a defense attorney you want to mitigate those penalties. Trying to point out to the prosecutors what her mental condition was at the time. And show that most likely she wasn’t thinking,' he continued.
'Try to avoid the long-term effects like a jail sentence. She may be looking at pleading to something in order to avoid a jail sentence.'
Russell has faced severe public scrutiny in the time since she was exposed as a liar, losing her job in a spa and being dumped by her boyfriend as a result.