James Ray Samuel Mabo repeatedly bashed grandmother Rosemary Russo in the face with a piece of wood, causing her to drown in her own blood.
James Ray Samuel Mabo repeatedly bashed grandmother Rosemary Russo in the face with a piece of wood, causing her to drown in her own blood.

Horrendous way grandmother Rosemary Russo was murdered

A MAN who repeatedly bashed a Townsville grandmother in the face with a piece of wood, causing her to drown in her own blood, has been found guilty of murder.

James Ray Samuel Mabo, 22, bludgeoned Deeragun grandmother Rosemary Russo to death with a piece of timber after breaking into her home in the early hours of December 8, 2016.

The jury delivered the guilty verdict today.

Mabo who was 19 at the time of the offence, pleaded not guilty in Townsville Supreme Court for her murder, but instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

This plea was rejected by the Crown.

Mabo stood with his eyes downcast.

After Mabo was arrested on December 8, 2016, following a recorded police interview, he confided in an undercover cop that he hadn't meant to kill Ms Russo, but merely steal from her home.

A physical confrontation ensued between Ms Russo and Mabo, during which the woman was knocked to the floor by him.

While she was on the floor, Mabo repeatedly struck her face with a timber block he had armed himself with.

When neighbour Justin Movigliatti heard three loud bangs coming from Ms Russo's home, he went to check on her after hearing laboured sounds.

He entered and saw a barely recognisable Ms Russo lying on the floor in a room covered in blood.

The court was shown a picture of her bloodied, swollen face, which was left with a "caved in" nose, fractured bones, loosened teeth and lacerations all over.

A Broncos singlet covered in more than 150 blood stains that Mabo had worn on the night he murdered Ms Russo, was found about 500m from her home near the Bruce Highway by police.

Mabo's finger prints were found in Ms Russo's blood located in her home, with her blood also found underneath his fingernails.


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