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San Diego

Former fugitive Charles Russ was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges that he murdered his wife and bilked his mother-in-law out of her life’s savings.

Municipal Judge Joe Littlejohn ordered a Dec. 19 Superior Court hearing to schedule a trial for Russ.

Russ, 39, is accused of killing his artist wife, Pamela Russ, 33, whose battered body was found Feb. 1, 1987, on North Torrey Pines Road, apparently run over by her own Mercedes-Benz.

According to testimony from insurance agents, Russ purchased $600,000 worth of life insurance policies for his wife.

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Russ had been a fugitive since July, 1987. He was arrested in Florida in August by a police officer who recognized him from the “America’s Most Wanted” TV program.


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