Family Wants Justice In Suspicious Suicide Case

Monday, June 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa family wants to know what happened to 18-year-old Russell Garrison.

The only witness to his death says he died playing Russian Roulette.

The family says new evidence indicates it was murder.

Russell Garrison got home on April 3rd, 1998; said goodnight to his mother and moments later was dead.

His mom found dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

The only witness, his cousin Heather Wiehe, a troubled girl with a long criminal history said he died playing Russian Roulette.

"He would've never played such a stupid game or put a gun to his head for nobody or nothing," says Sheryl Crockett, Russell’s sister.

Since the death was ruled a suicide the medical examiner's office did not do an autopsy. That still frustrates the family.

"At first, we thought it was an accident, but, the stories didn't match up and the only one telling them was Heather. And her story was changing every time," Crockett says.

One story change was that Garrison put the gun up to his head before pulling the trigger, but the entry wound shows no signs of powder burns.

The family had Garrison's body exhumed and had a forensic pathologist do an autopsy.

"Mr. Garrison was a homicide victim. I could find no evidence of any contact or close range gunshot entry wound to the head,” says Dr. Miles Jones from Missouri.

"Police say the m-e dropped the ball. They say they were only going by what the police told them. We would've never had his body exhumed if it wasn't going to do any good,” Crockett says.

The family's attorney says he has a recorded statement from a friend of Heather’s... saying Heather admitted shooting Garrison.

Heather moved to Florida right after the shooting.

The family believes a murderer is going to go free.

"They stole something from us they had no right to steal. We can't bring him back and we know that, but, we need justice." Crockett says.