A twenty three year-old Greene County man with a history of mental illness has been charged with second degree murder for killing his mother and, the homicide appears to be religiously motivated.

Prosecutors say that Skyler Russo killed his mother Judith Roth in the duplex the two shared at 749 S. Nettleton Ave. sometime between May 29th and June 2nd.

Landlord Charles Tuck told officers that he left a note on the door of the Roth/Russo residence on June 1st, and when he went back to the duplex the note was still door which he thought "was odd." Tuck entered the residence and found one of the bedroom doorknobs turned around. He removed the doorknob and found Judith Roth dead on the floor and called 9-1-1.

When Springfield police officers Christina Farrand and Dewayne Davis found Roth's body she was lying face up, her face covered with a towel.....arms outstretched like a cross with the word "DEATH" scrawled on the underside of her right forearm.

Officer Farrand noted that there were numerous religious artifacts scattered throughout the house, and a silver duct tape cross on the outside of the residence.

Neighbors said Russo would duct stick crosses on vehicles with notes that say, "Do you know Jesus?" and pass out figurines of mother Mary. Neighbors said they believe the man has a mental illness.

A neighbor, Francis Bonner told investigators that she heard a disturbance coming from next door between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. and heard Judith Roth scream, "God help me." Medical Examiner Doug Anderson says a t-shirt was stuffed in Roth's mouth.

In the probable cause statement, Detective Kevin Shipley says Russo admitted after his arrest on Tuesday that he and his mother had an argument that turned violent on Saturday.

In court documents filed with the charges Shipley writes that Russo said, "he pushed Roth to the ground and then began choking and striking her in the facial area."

"Skyler Russo admitted he struck Roth 20-30 times in the throat with his fist until she was unconscious. Skyler Russo also admitted that he stuffed a t-shirt into Roth's mouth during the assault."

Ky3 is reporting that Russo's priest, Father Mike McDevitt, he says Skylar was a troubled and hurting sole. Father McDevitt says Russo would often show up at St. Agnes because he found compassion there. He says Russo was very disturbed.

Russo and Roth were evicted from their grandfather/fathers home at 3556 S. Meadowlark . Joseph Roth filed for the order for protection because his grandson had harassed him and caused him physical harm.
"Struck me with cane, pushed me, poured water over me, took my cane so I could not go anywhere," Joseph Roth wrote when he filed for the protection order.

The grandfathers house is where he ran following his mother's death. A search warrant was served on the house at house at 3556 S. Meadowlark Ave., but Russo refused to come out, a short time he serenaded peacefully.

David Yancey, the Greene County public administrator said he went to court this spring and had Judith Roth and Russo evicted from the home on Meadowlark because the three family members couldn't get along. He said he put Joseph Roth in a nursing home for his own protection from his daughter and grandson.

A neighbor says that Russo's grandfather and Judith Roth's father, Joseph Roth, has cancer and moved into a nursing home a couple of months ago. Court records show his affairs and finances are now being handled by Yancey.

Yancey said he went to court this spring and had Judith Roth and Russo evicted from the home on Meadowlark because the three family members couldn't get along. He said he placed Joseph Roth in a nursing home for his own protection from his daughter and grandson.

Two years ago, Judith Roth, who allegedly had mental issues as well, went to court to gain guardianship over her son. In her petition, Roth said her son was mentally incapable of handling his own affairs. That petition was granted.

Russo is being held in the Greene County jail without bond.


Jeffery said...

i am a cousin of Russo, and i was wondering what happened at the court hearing? does anybody know?

Anonymous said...


I am a relative of Skyler Russo, I respect your story, but you need to get the whole story before you post them.
I can't not believe I just found this blog. I have spent every summer and birthday and Holidays with Skyler for 18 years....Skyler Russo's mother was in jail for many years for drug use and trafficking...she also lost custody of her son when he was still a baby due to neglect and abuse. His grandfather, Jo...had full custody of his grandson Skyler.Skyler grew up in a basement alone with video games, he was abused his whole life.He develop schizophrenia on his teens due to stress from the abuse.Skyler was sexually abused, verbally abused and beaten all the time.I reported this event numerous time...I tried to keep a good relationship with his grandfather so I could see him on weekends and Holidays, I drove many hours every weekend to pick him up.We tried to get Skyler to move in with our family his whole life, but because of Judy and lack of money, I wasn't able to it.
Skyler was sent home from the Army very very sick...the additional stress from the intense training at the Army made his sickness visible to others.He was in the hospital several times, but taken out from his insane mother several times. She took his medications to feed her addictions and sale.I found Skyler 3 yrs ago living on the streets in Kansas City like a homeless, long hair, dirty, starving and claiming to be Kind David a Prophet of Jesus Christ.
Skyler surrounded himself with crosses to protect himself from Satan, witch in his mind took over his mother's body at his birth.He mentioned to me several times, God asked him to Kill Satan, his mother....he was hospitalized in a severe condition....after 10 days his mother came and got him with his grandfather here and took him out.
Skyler is a product of abuse , neglect by the system, Army, his parents and grandfather.
He is a wonderful kid inside....so much love and potential. I speak with him every week...I get letters from him every week, he loves his true family, he is now medicated, and doing much better.He admits of what he did and he is very sorry and still not sure why it all happened.
I know Skyler, deep inside his soul, I help his little hands next to mine, I wiped his tears too many times and I received hugs and kisses every opportunity he had. I pray for him to endure his trials on this earth.I pray for people not to judge and profit on others sad sad moments ..
I wish I was rich, if I was, skyler would skipped almost all of this sad episodes in his life.
All because two people decided not to raise a child in love.
Selfishness destroys life, peace and love.
Please my friend, no one can see the whole picture, only God can.So much you don't know.Skyler had a wonderful experience here with us every time...his little cousin, aunts and uncles miss him dearly and love him.Life is short, God will help him someday.
His Aunt

Anonymous said...

responding to so called cousin of Skyler...his case is closed....he was found guild of second degree murder and sent to 25yrs in prison just this last week......by the way, my kids are the only cousins Skyler has,so I am not sure who you are.

Anonymous said...

She is his aunt, not cousin, and just by reading her words I knew exactly who she was. She is right. Having spent many times in my life living under the same roof as skyler, he was very sweet and a sad product of abuse. Much love skyler. God bless you

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in this case and would like to ask where the father was during all of this. It is very possible I had an encounter with him. The second time I went out with said gentleman he mentioned a story similar to this. His behavior was odd and I had a creepy feeling and stopped seeing him.

jessica j said...

I would like to ask where Skyler father was during all this.