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Jeffrey J. Conrad, 45, the Toledo man convicted in the murder of Amanda Russell of Cuyahoga Falls, was sentenced Wednesday, Jan. 18, to life in prison without parole plus three years for violating a protection order, according to a spokesman for the Summit County Prosecutor's office.
Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Gallagher handed down the sentence.
Conrad was convicted by a Summit County jury in Ms. Russell's death in October 2015. Sentencing was delayed due to another case related to Conrad assaulting a fellow jail inmate. He was convicted of second-degree felonious assault on Dec. 16, 2016. In his sentencing Jan. 18, eight years were added making his sentence life without parole plus 11 years, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Cuyahoga Falls police charged Conrad with first-degree felony aggravated murder in Ms. Russell's death on Aug. 28, 2014. Conrad and Ms. Russell "were boyfriend and girlfriend at one point," Lt. Gary Merton Jr., told the media on Sept. 3, 2014. Merton said the civil protection order, which was issued in 2012, was in effect at the time of Russell's death. He said the life of the protection order was five years.
"He was an ex-boyfriend and she was in fear from him … [and] he may have been in contact with her at various times," said Merton, adding Conrad's motive was not known.
Police were called to Ms. Russell's home at 3235 Eighth St. at 3:26 p.m. Aug. 28, 2014, by the woman's teenage daughter, who said "she was too scared to go out and look" after returning home from school and seeing her mother's body lying in the backyard.
Cleveland Metro Parks Rangers arrested Conrad at Euclid Beach around 10:30 p.m. Aug. 28, 2014, with the help of officers from the Cleveland and Bratenahl police departments. When Rangers first saw Conrad, he was stepping out from behind a tree holding a hunting knife with a 7- to 8-inch blade, according to the ranger department's police report.
Conrad ran from rangers who pursued him on foot through the woods, a trailer park and past a library, reaching Lake Erie where Conrad jumped in and, according to rangers, tried to drown himself. A Bratenahl police officer deployed his Taser which caused Conrad to drop the knife into the water.