Teen Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Hartford Hit-and-Run Appears in Court

A Hartford teen charged with manslaughter in a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman made his first court appearance in the case today.

Police say 18-year old Deykevious Russaw stole an SUV and plowed into a bus stop, killing 56-year-old Rosella Shuler and injuring a man.

The hearing started with a debate over whether Deykevious Russaw should be tried as an adult. The incident occurred on his 18th birthday, but his lawyer argued that it might have happened before the actual time of his birth. The judge disagreed, siding with the state’s attorney who said this case has no business in juvenile court.

“There is no doubt,” said State’s Attorney Gail Hardy. “We would have been seeking to charge Deykevious Russaw as an adult in this case.”

Authorities say Russaw stole a Toyota Highlander SUV from West Hartford on July 18. Later that day, police say a surveillance camera on a school bus captured him getting into an argument with the bus driver after he opened the SUV door in the bus’s path on Sigourney Street. Frustrated, police say the video shows him speed off, lose control, and plow through a Hartford bus stop.

Shuler’s daughter, Jessica Vazquez, also attended the hearing and told NBC Connecticut she plans to see the whole case through.

“She was a good person and she was a good person to her community,” Vazquez said of her mother.

“I want my mom to be able to get her justice, that’s all.”

According to court documents, Russaw admitted to police in a sworn statement that he was the operator of the vehicle that ultimately killed Shuler, which was full of teenagers. He said he ran from the scene because he didn’t want to get in trouble. Five other teens also fled from the vehicle. No other arrests have been made.

“People if you’re out there. If you know the other five, just come forward,” Vazquez said.

This was actually Russaw’s second court appearance of the day. The state’s attorney said he came before a judge earlier for a homicide case. A source close to that investigation tells NBC Connecticut that Russaw was charged as a juvenile for shooting and killing a 63-year old Hartford man in a Westland Street park two days before the stolen car incident. His bond for both cases totals $2.5 million.

Russaw is being held on $1 million and is due in court on Sept. 21.

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