A Boise man has been convicted of the beating death of a man on the streets of Boise in the fall of 2014.
The body of Russell "Rusty" Bitton, 37, was discovered
the morning of Oct. 28, 2014 under the Americana Boulevard overpass.The father of two was a skilled machinist, a talented guitar player and someone who was regularly called "courageous." Bitton had moved back to the Boise area to be closer to his daughter, Allura.
"He moved to Boise from Utah just a few months before he died, just to be closer to us," she told Boise Weekly in January 2015
. "He would come to visit my mother and me at the City of Light [Home for Women]. But he still struggled. He was picked up and sent to jail. I think it was for public intoxication, but he sent me a letter from jail that said how much he wanted to be sober. When he got out, he called me from an AA meeting. That was two days before he died."
Bitton died of blunt force trauma to the head. Six months later, Scotty Turnbull, 25, was accused of the fatal beating. Now Turnbull has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated battery, after telling an Ada County Court judge that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD, depression and schizophrenia.
"I'm pleading guilty because I believe I'm guilty," Turnbull told Idaho Fourth District Judge Samuel Hoagland.
Turnbull's sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1.