Jack Russell gives in depth account of gun shooting that landed him initial eight year jail sentence
Ex-Great White lead vocalist Jack Russell recently did an in-depth interview with Ted “Hollywood” Heckman for Thunder Roads Ohio. Sleaze Roxx has already provided one article derived from the interview titled “Jack Russell states there is no chance of him getting back with Great White.”
In the interview, Russell was also asked by Heckman to confirm whether a Wikipedia article stating that he disappeared for 18 months for shooting a maid was true.
Russell replied (with slight edits): “Oh yeah. I did shoot a maid.” Russell went on to state (with slight edits): “This was back… I just turned 18. I was really into coke. I didn’t have any money. I ripped off anyone I could by conning them. I would get Visine and put it in a dropper bottle and tell people it was L25, you know liquid lsd… And the thing about Visine back in those days, it was just like LSD. It would glow under a black light. And I was like ‘See. It’s the real deal.’ And they were like ‘Yeah’…. People started getting wise because they weren’t getting high you know…
I remember living with my bass player up in Glendora and I came home and one of the other roommates was like, ‘You got to get out of here.’ And I’m like ‘Why?’ And he’s like, ‘There were a couple of guys with guns that came here looking for you.’ I’m like, ‘OK. Time for me to exit stage right.’ So I headed back to my mom and dad’s house. This friend of mine came over — the guy that introduced me to Mark actually — and said ‘Dude. I know this guy. He’s got a ton of cocaine and you could go in there and rip him off easy.’ And I’m like ‘Ok’ and he had this other guy ready to go. So I borrowed a gun from this friend of mine and we went over there and we came in the house with ski masks and was like ‘Give us your fucking coke or we’ll blow your head off.’ I had a knife and the other guy had the gun. I will never forget this. The guy was like ‘Not again.’ I wanted to laugh so bad… You know… Poor fuckin’ guy ya know. We took all the coke and took off running across the lawn. There were people out across the street. They had kids ya know and they were screaming ’cause two guys were running down the street with a bag of blow and a gun and a knife. We dive in the car and take off. I was like ‘Wow! This is a no brainer. Easy way to score drugs and get paid.’
… I got some intel on another guy that I use to go to school with and the deal was he had a bunch of blow. So me and a friend of mine were planning on going there and doing the same thing. So I borrowed the gun again and it was a 22 revolver. We kept it loaded when we did this only because when you point a revolver at someone, you can see if it’s loaded or not. So that is the only reason I had it loaded.
So we went to this guy’s house. I smoked some PCP before I went in the house, which was not a very good idea. I walked into the house and I blacked out. So what I am about to tell you now is what I know from the Court Transcripts. Cause I have no recollection till I woke up. I’ll get to that. Apparently I walked in the house — I remember this part — I walked in the house and I remember looking outside. There was a big glass door from the front door. You could see out into the backyard. There was a pool and there was a maid out there and she was watering the plants. So after this, I dont really remember. It gets kind of sketchy. So they said I walked out and asked the maid, ‘Where’s the coke?’ She thought I was a friend of the guys playing a joke on her. [In his best Vietnamese voice] She goes ‘No Coke, just Pepsi. Go to refrigerator and help yourself.’ She was a Vietnamese lady and when I read that, I had to laugh ’cause at the time, it was the Saturday Night Live thing. [Does his best Saturday Night Live impression] ‘No Coke. Pepsi, Pepsi, cheap cheap. No cheese burger, hamburger only [laughter from interviewer and Russell].’
So I’m asking the maid where the cocaine is. So she starts squirting me with the hose and starts wrestling with me for whatever reason. I don’t know. The gun went off and hit the concrete and richoceted you know. And the father was down the hill with the horses and he said he looked up and saw this guy with a ski mask and a gun kind of like standing up wrestling with the maid. He said he went up the hill and grabbed his briefcase full of money and locked himself in the bathroom.’
Russell was then asked what happened next as by his account, he’s out of his mind on PCP wrestling with a maid and shooting a gun.
The singer advised (with slight edits): “Yeah. What happened next? I guess we went in the house ’cause she ran away and somehow got in the bathroom with him. They said I was bashing on the door and said I put huge cracks in this solid oak door. Next thing they said, I shot through the door. The bullet went through the door hit a St. Christopher medallion by her heart and went into her shoulder saving her life and mine. I wake up on my knees looking at a door with the gun between my legs and I’m like ‘What the hell? Where am I? I had no clue. Next thing I hear is [does an impression of a cop speaking through a megaphone] ‘You’re surrounded by the SWAT team.’ I hear a helicopter and I’m like, ‘That’s right. I’m here to rob dope. I know, I’ll unload the gun and it won’t be that big of a deal.’ I mean it was still a big deal. It just wouldn’t be as big of deal. Even though I was unloading a gun and stuffing the bullets down the side of the waterbed, I was still wasted and I didn’t realize I had shot two rounds.
I walked outside and I threw the gun on the ground and they all tackled me and were punching me and shit and they were like, ‘What did you shoot her for?’ And I’m like, ‘What? What are you talking about?’ They told me I shot somebody and I heard my dad’s voice say ‘One of these days, you’re gonna get all hopped up on that stuff and you’re gonna shoot somebody.” I used to be like, ‘What are you talking about Dad? I don’t even have a gun. How would I ever shoot somebody? That’s ridiculous.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God! I shot somebody.’ I went to court after all this stuff and they gave me eight years. I’m like ‘Oh my God! I’m done. My career is over. Everything is over.’ Of course, it was like, ‘My God, I hurt somebody. I shot somebody.’ But on the other side of it, that’s what you get. I was just happy she was alive ’cause I felt bad enough shooting somebody but it was weird ’cause I don’t remember doing it.
I passed out in the court room and I woke up in the back of the court room. I remember being in the holding cell and waiting to go and my Attorney said, ‘What happened?’ I said, ‘I can’t believe I got eight years.’ He was like, ‘Don’t worry about that. You won’t be doing eight years. You’re going to YA.’ I go ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘You’re going to CYA — California Youth Authority.’ That’s the step between juvenile hall and prison. He said, ‘They’ll sentence you when you get there. They factor in all these things and resentence you.’
So I do my psych[ological] eval[uation] and I went in front of a board. They have two boards. A regular board for lessor crimes with two people on it and full board with four people on it with more intense crimes. So I get to [the] regular board. There are two guys sitting there and prior to this, I hear about a drug rehab program. You could go in there for 18 months. It’s a wack job program. They shave your head. It’s just crazy but they can cut your time in half so I really wanted to get into the program. I’m going, ‘I want to get into this program.’
I get up in front of the board and we talk and questions get asked and answered and they say well, ‘Three years.’ I’m like, ‘Wow! I have to do a year and a half before I’m even eligible to go to the rehab place.’ But than, the guy says, ‘Hold on. You’re a full blown case. We can’t sentence you. We are a regular board. You’re gonna have to be sentenced when you go up north.’ Which by the way is where the drug program is… I’m like, ‘Cool. I got another shot at this.’ On the morning of my 19th birthday, the 16th at 6 am, they said, ‘Ok. We are shipping you to Preston now.’ So somehow, they had the paper work wrong and they had me as a flight risk so here I am on my birthday with my legs and hands shackled and they give me a sack lunch now. Have you ever tried to eat with your hands shackled? Not that I didn’t deserve it but you get my point.
So they put me in a lodge with all the mediocre criminals — you know guys that aren’t the worse but still bad enough ’cause they were all like riots and people getting stabbed and guys saying ‘You better go over and punch that dude or we are gonna stab you.’ And then they add time to your sentence. So I was like, ‘I need to get out of here or I’m gonna end up catching time.’ So I go before the board and they are like 21 months. I mean that’s awesome but I mean that gives me three months before I can even go to this drug program. I don’t want to catch time. The drug program guys say, ‘Yeah. We will take you when you have 18 months.’ So I’m like, ‘Wow! This is a miracle.’ The next day, they come up and they say, ‘We made a decision that in the first time in history, we are going take you down with 21 months and you’ll be out in 11.’ I mean talk about divine intervention. This is like the miracles of miracles. I was thanking God… It’s just a story of divine intervention. I mean I knew at six years old I was going to be a rock star. It was a totally spiritual experience. It was laid out for me in very vivid detail that I was going to be a successful musician. So anyway, I got out in 11 months and got back with the band and like a year and a half, two years later, I signed my first record deal. So that’s where that came from. It’s definitely a fact.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Jack Russell done by Ted “Hollywood” Heckman at Thunder Roads Ohio.