Aaron Russell

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Service Record

San Diego County California Sheriff's Department

Rank Deputy
Dates of Service Ended May 7, 2020.[1]
Salary $92,214 (2019)[2]
Last Known Status Resigned[1]

Incident Reports

2024 Death of Nicholas Bils

News report with surveillance video
Aaron Russell booking photo
Aaron Russell

On May 1, 2020, Bils was arrested for brandishing a golf club at park rangers and was placed in a California State Parks officer's vehicle. Bils escaped and was running away when Russell shot him.[3]

Bils died.[3]

The incident was captured on surveillance video.[4]

Response Timeline

On May 7, 2020, Russell resigned.[1]

On July 14, 2020, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office charged Russell with second-degree murder. Russell faces 15 year to life in prison.[5][4]

On July 14, 2020, Russell pleaded not guilty.[6]

On December 21, 2020, Bils' family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Russell, the Sheriff, the county, and the two park rangers.[7]

On January 7, 2022, Russell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.[8]

In 2022, Russell was sentenced to one year in jail.[9]

In 2022, the family's lawsuit was settled for $8.1 million.[9]

On May 17, 2024, Russell was indicted by a federal grand jury for depriving Bils of his right to be free from officers using excessive force and with discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. Russell faces up to life in prison.[3]

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