Two shootings send Medford man to prison

Two shootings send Medford man to prison

Russell Wayne Sewell's meth addiction led him into two separate shooting incidents, which today resulted in a prison sentence of more than seven years.

Sewell, 23, pled guilty this morning before Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia to a single count of second-degree assault, two counts of attempted first-degree assault and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

The charges stem from a road rage incident on May 21 and for shooting a rival in the foot during a robbery May 18.

"I just wanted to say that if my mind wasn't altered by drugs, it probably wouldn't have happened," Sewell told Mejia before the judge sentenced him to 89 months in prison.

Sewell was one of three men inside a car who began arguing with Cascade Christian High School students in another car at the intersection of Stewart and Oakdale avenues on May 21, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Beth Heckert. A verbal confrontation between the two groups escalated when one of the men in Sewell's vehicle threw a lighter into the teens' car. When one of the teens tossed the lighter back, Sewell fired a .22-caliber handgun at the other car, she said.

"One of the bullets struck the trunk of the victims' vehicle," Heckert said.

The teens reported the incident and about an hour later a Central Point officer stopped Sewell, who fled on foot. Police, with the help of a dog, quickly found him. He was wearing a holster and had ammunition in his pocket, Heckert said.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned Sewell was involved in another unreported shooting which took place on May 18, Heckert said. Sewell reportedly entered the residence of 22-year-old Medford man, shot him in the foot, then fled with money and a cellphone.

"The victim didn't report the shooting because he was wanted," Heckert said.

— Sanne Specht

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