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Accused Cannibal Who Allegedly Microwaved Elderly Man’s Body Parts Fit To Stand Trial

James David Russell is accused of killing David Flaget and then eating parts of his body, including his gentials.

By Gina Tron
James Russell Pd

An accused cannibal from Idaho, who allegedly microwaved and ate an elderly man’s body parts, has been found fit to stand trial.

James David Russell, 40, has been deemed competent to stand trial for the September murder and suspected cannibalism of 70-year-old David Flaget, the Bonner County Daily Bee reports.

Russell has been involuntarily committed since October, where he has been undergoing intensive psychological and psychiatric treatment in order to regain his competence, according to the Daily Bee. On April 5, a doctor at the institution provided an evaluation to District Magistrate Judge Tera A. Harden determining that Russell is now mentally able to participate in a trial.

Russell was charged last year with both first-degree murder and cannibalism in connection with Flaget’s death. Parts of Flaget’s mutilated body were discovered inside his vehicle on Russell family’s property in Clark Fork, Idaho on Sept. 10 according to a probable cause affidavit previously obtained by Oxygen.com. Both of his wrists had been bound with duct tape and his remains were covered in trash bags. Some of his body parts were missing, which Russell had allegedly tried to eat.

“His body showed postmortem removal of the penis, scrotum, both testicles and flesh of the outer right thigh,” the charging documents stated.

A medical examiner allegedly determined that Russell may have microwaved some of Flaget’s flesh; forensic testing allegedly confirmed that Flaget’s DNA found in a bowl in Russell’s apartment, while the missing body parts were never found. Blood was allegedly found in the microwave, the Daily Bee reports.

Flaget was the groundsman for the Russell family property where Russell was living at the time of the murder. Investigators believe he was killed by blunt force trauma.

A review hearing for the case has been scheduled for May 17, according to a court docket obtained by Law&Crime. A two-day preliminary hearing is set for June 13 and 14.

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