Sublett Trial Begins

“Suicide by cop.” That’s the defense Russell Sublett’s attorney is using to defend Sublett against attempted murder charges in federal court.

Sublett is accused of trying to kill several law enforcement officers in a shoot-out and subsequent stand-off, just north of Bowling Green on Sept. 29, 2004. He’s also charged with car-jacking Virginia Phelps’ vehicle during a police chase that day.

Assistant U.S. attorney, Jo Lawless, said Phelps saw Sublett run toward her car with a gun, on Highway 68-80. Phelps said Sublett told police to stop shooting or he would kill her.

Police pictures show he then took her car and drove into the front door of David Stewart’s home on 31-W North, where he holed-up in the basement until he surrendered to authorities four days later.

Sublett’s attorney, Scott Wendelsdorf, does not dispute the shootings took place, but said Sublett never intended to kill any officers, so he can’t be found guilty of attempted murder.

Wendelsdorf said Sublett just fired randomly throughout the house pleading with officers to kill him saying, “It’s my death day. Just do your job.”

Wendelsdorf said Sublett had been off his medications for depression, anxiety and psychosis for three months, and was not rational at the time of the shootings. The trial is expected to run through the week.

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