Radio, TV and that Damned Media

BREAKING NEWS: Russ Martin Charged With Three-Count Misdemeanor

Charged with misdemeanors. But not indicted with a felony. Got it?

Acting on an educated hunch, I made a call this afternoon to Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney David Hagerman. Sure enough, he confirms that a grand jury on Thursday returned a three-count, Class A misdemeanor complaint against Live 105.3 FM talk-show host Russ Martin.

Surely you remember Russell Dale Martin?

Hagerman confirmed that the grand jury returned the complaint against Martin pertaining to allegations of "family violence," assault and bodily injury. He said there is not yet a date for the case – which will likely be prosecuted by assistant DA Sean Colston – to proceed in the county's criminal misdemeanor court.

If convicted, Martin, who was arrested July 18 on a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a confrontation with his girlfriend, faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 on the lesser misdemeanor complaint. Though the formal charges will likely further dent his image and Martin certainly isn’t out of the legal woods, the fact that he avoided the second-degree felony charges associated with aggravated assault might allow him and his fans to breath slightly easier tonight.

Most of them, anyway, though there remained an irrationally loyal contingency convinced that either a) The arrest was somehow an elaborate radio bit, or b) All charges would eventually be dropped.

Martin, who’s been back hosting his wildly popular Russ Martin Show since July 28, hasn’t commented on his arrest or impending court proceedings on the air. But at the radio station’s annual benefit concert (Live 8) on Aug. 16, he addressed the crowd at the Palladium Ballroom.

I’m paraphrasing, but was told Martin said his supporters would be justified when the facts of the case came out. To those that didn’t support him, Martin -- front man of The Russ Martin Band -- delivered an emphatic string of “Fuck you!”s before breaking into Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock.”

UPDATE: Welcome to the party, mainstream media. -- Richie Whitt

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt