NewsLocal NewsLee County


How will first Club Blu Trial sentencing impact future cases?

Remaining suspects awaits trial for mass Club Blu shooting
Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 08:09:44-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — A day after 24-year-old Kierra Russ was sentenced to the maxim sentence of two life terms for second-degree murder and 15 years for conspiracy for her role in the 2016 Club Blu mass shooting, a Fort Myers attorney spoke about what this could mean for the other suspects.

State prosecutors proved that Kierra Russ' text message tipped off the four men accused of the deaths of Stef’An Strawder and Sean Archilles, who were killed in the shooting that injured 14 others.

Fort Myers criminal defense lawyer Michael Raheb said Russ' life-sentenced will probably put the other four suspects on notice - but added that each trial is not guaranteed the same outcome.

“The co-defendants are obviously quite aware of the sentencing," Attorney Raheb said.

Russ and the other four suspects were arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder and a count of conspiracy. However, Don Loggins is facing additional charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon- as well as a first-degree charge of harassing and obstruction of justice.

”Certainly they are cognizant that the person who just got tried, a female who probably with zero to little criminal history got the max sentence so they are definitely taking notice of it," Raheb said.

Raheb added that with the other suspects, it's important to remember each might have its own defense theory - meaning, not every trial will have the same outcome.

“What is creditable in one defendant’s case isn’t necessarily creditable or believable in another. So it does give you a little road map of what was asked and what people testified to. So that can be an advantage for those who are awaiting trial," Attorney Raheb said.

Right after Russ' sentencing, state attorney Amira Fox had this to say.

"As your state attorney and these law officer enforcement leaders who stand beside me and with me have zero tolerance for this type of violence. We will prosecute and we will ask for a life sentence,” state attorney Fox said.

Tuesday, June 6, Russ did officially file her appeal.