Idaho Man Accused of Murder, Cannibalism Deemed Fit for Trial


A Bonner County man accused of murdering and eating parts of his victim was recently deemed competent to stand trial.

James D. Russell is charged with first-degree murder and cannibalism in the September 2021 death of David Flaget .

A competency evaluation determined Russell, who was admitted after his arrest to the Idaho Security Medical Program, is fit for trial, according to KHQ. The evaluation was sent to an Idaho judge earlier this month.

This after he was ruled by a judicial officer in October as unfit to proceed, leading to the court-ordered mental competency evaluation.

The 70-year-old Flaget, reportedly the groundskeeper for the Russell family property, was found by police dead in his pickup truck on the land along Lower Mosquito Creek Road in North Idaho. Police said investigators found postmortem mutilation on parts of Flaget's body, while other evidence — including a bloodied bowl and microwave — were seized from Russell's Clark Fork apartment.