Grand jury doesn't indict ex-Raiders QB Russell on drug charge

MOBILE, Ala. -- An Alabama grand jury declined Friday to indict former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell on a felony drug possession charge related to a drink containing codeine syrup found at his home.

Defense attorney Donald Briskman said the prosecution office handling the Mobile County grand jury confirmed that no indictment was included with its report. He said that means the grand jury decided there was not sufficient evidence to keep the case from being dismissed.

He said Russell was excited by the development and looks forward to returning to the National Football League.

"He's working out. I talked to his agent. That's always been the plan," Briskman told The Associated Press. "This helps enormously."

An official with the Mobile County District Attorney's office handling grand jury matters did not immediately return a call Friday.

Russell was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, a drink containing codeine syrup, when Mobile County sheriff's officers raided his home July 5. The defense contended the drink belonged to another person in Russell's home, where several people had gathered after the July Fourth holiday.

Marcus Stevenson, a longtime friend of Russell's, testified in a hearing that he made the drink. A sheriff's deputy, Johnny Thornton, testified the drink was in Russell's bedroom, appeared freshly poured and that Russell said it was Kool-Aid.

A prep star in Mobile who also was a standout at LSU, Russell was the No. 1 NFL draft choice in 2007 but released by Oakland after three disappointing seasons.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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