Remembering Michael Russell

Teen killed in his own backyard yard on Nov. 10, 2009

By Lori Preuitt
|  Friday, Nov 11, 2011  |  Updated 6:59 AM PDT
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A vigil was held tonight in San Jose for the teenage boy killed by his classmates, two years ago.

A vigil was held tonight in San Jose for the teenage boy killed by his classmates, two years ago.

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Friends, family and community members will gather Thursday night to remember a young life cut short exactly two years ago.

The family of former Santa Teresa High School student Michael Russell is hosting a candlelight vigil at Frost Elementary School starting at 6:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited. Russell was killed Nov. 10, 2009.

He was stabbed to death and left to die in his own backyard. San Jose police arrested two fellow students a few days after the homicide. Randy Thompson and Jae Williams were charged with murder and will be tried as adults in February.

The Mercury News reported that during the suspects' preliminary hearing, Santa Teresa students testified that they heard Thompson and Williams talk about killing. One student testified that he and Williams were among a group of about 10 students at the school who believed in satanic religion.

The family said Thursday's vigil was to remember Russell and to "bring awareness to the community about violent crimes, bullying, and the importance of standing up and having your voice heard.

Russell's family said when he died he was a 15-year-old sophomore who liked playing on the computer and playing the guitar. His friends and family describe him as being a quiet but optimistic young man who enjoyed meeting new people and who always greeted people with a smile.

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