UPDATE: Boise Man, Charged with October 2014 Murder of Rusty Bitton, Pleads Not Guilty 

UPDATE: April 24, 2015

A Boise man has pleaded not guilty to charges linking him to the beating death of a man on the streets of Boise in the fall of 2014.

24-year-old Scotty Turnbull is accused of the fatal beating of 37-year-old Russell "Rusty" Bitton on October 28, 2014. Bitton's body was discovered in the early morning hours under the Americana Boulevard underpass. The Ada County Coroner determined that Bitton had died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Turnbull is charged with second-degree murder and two charges of battery in connection with the separate beatings of a woman and a man on the day before Bitton was killed. Turnbull is being held at the Ada County lockup on $1 million bond.

Turnbull's trial is expected to begin Nov. 9, with a pretrial conference slated for Oct. 29.

ORIGINAL POST: April 3, 2015

click to enlarge Scotty Turnbull, 24, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the October 2014 death of Russell "Rusty" Bitton. - ADA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Ada County Sheriff's Office
  • Scotty Turnbull, 24, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the October 2014 death of Russell "Rusty" Bitton.
A Boise man has now been officially charged with the beating death of a homeless man on the streets of Boise in the fall of 2014.

It was the morning of Oct. 28, 2014, when the body of 37-year-old Russell "Rusty" Bitton was discovered 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. "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. Ada County prosecutors had charged 24-year-old Scotty Turnbull with second-degree murder in connection with the beating death. Turnbull is also charged with severely beating another man and woman the night before he attacked Bitton.

"That woman was beaten close to death," Jennifer Clifford, Allura's mother, told BW in January. "I need to tell you that the Boise Police Department and prosecutor's office have been great. The amount of investigation that they conducted was amazing. Allura and I and Rusty's family from Utah all met with a victim coordinator just before the holidays and they assured us that they needed to make sure nothing would fall through the cracks before they pressed charges."

Turnbull is scheduled for a court date on Thursday, April 23rd when he's expected to enter a plea to the charge of second-degree murder. 
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