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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
HudsonRussell 181193CCRC-SCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
6/23/2009CC01-17757Status Conference
9/21/2009CC01-17757Status Conference
2/23/2010CC01-177573.850 Motion
4/21/2010CC01-17757State's Reponse to 3.850 Motion
4/21/2010CC01-17757State's Reponse to 3.850 Motion
12/6/2010CC01-17757Status Conference
6/6/2011CC01-17757Status Conference
4/19/2006FSC06-748Direct Appeal
12/19/2008USSC08-7918Certiorari petition

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
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The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information; however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied upon for statistical or legal purposes. 


HUDSON, Russell (W/M)

DC# 181193

DOB: 08/04/69


­­­Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County Case#01-17757

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Paul Backman

Attorney, Trial: William T. Laswell – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Gary Lee Caldwell – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  TBA


Date of Offense: 10/20/01

Date of Sentence: 03/17/06



Circumstances of Offense:


Russell Hudson wasconvicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Lance Peller.


On August 29, 2001, LancePeller reported to police that his apartment had been burglarized. One of theitems reportedly stolen during the burglary was Peller’s.9-mm Smith and Wesson pistol.


In October of 2001,Russell Hudson was selling drugs for the dealer Felipe Mejia.  Mejiainstructed Hudson to kill Lance Peller, a rival drug dealer who wasunderselling Mejia and with whom Hudson was well-acquainted. Mejia offeredHudson a gun. Hudson testified that he did not take the gun. However, Hudson’sroommate Jeff Stromoski testified that he saw Hudsonwith a gun in the apartment a few weeks before the murder. Stromoskialso testified that the gun looked similar to the murder weapon.


Hudson went to Peller’s apartment on the evening of October 20, 2001.Jennifer Fizzuoglio, Peller’s girlfriend, arrived atthe apartment after Hudson, between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. She talked to Hudsonwhile Peller talked on the phone. When Peller ended his phone call, Hudsonstood up, crouched down in front of the coffee table, and pulled out a gun.Peller asked Hudson how he got his gun and Hudson replied, “Tell me what I wantto hear, Lance.”


Hudson called someone onhis cell phone and said, “Do I have to do this now? Somebody showed up.” Hudsonthen decided to use some cocaine. He ordered Fizzuoglio to prepare the lines ofcocaine and ordered both Fizzuoglio and Peller to also use cocaine. Hudson saidthere were people outside who would kill them all if he did not kill Peller. Herepeatedly looked out the window and the door peephole, although Fizzuoglionever saw anyone outside.


Hudson told Peller and Fizzuoglio to hide. Peller went intothe bathroom and sat on the floor. Fizzuoglio crouched in the kitchen, whereher fingerprint was later found on the floor. Peller asked Hudson for a phoneto call his father and say goodbye. Peller called his father at 9:13 p.m. andleft the following message: “Hi, Dad, it’s your son. I love you. I just want totell you and Mom that I love you both much. I’m about to die. I love you both.Bye.”


After Peller finished the phone call, Hudson grabbed ablanket and shot Peller in the bathroom. Hudson shot Peller once through the blanketinto the top of Peller’s head, killing him almostinstantly.


Hudson then put on latex gloves, searched the apartment, andhanded Fizzuoglio items to carry. These items included Peller’swallet, keys, a scale, and several cell phones. Peller then forced Fizzuoglioout the door and into the passenger seat of her red Mustang. Hudson put the gununder his left leg and drove while Fizzuoglio was in the passenger seat. Hudsonmade a phone call as he drove west on 10th Street in FortLauderdale. After he concluded the call, he looked at Fizzuoglio and said, “I’msorry. I have to do this.” Fizzuoglio then jumped out of the car as it wasmoving and ran across the street into a ditch. She saw a patrol car at a stoplight. Fizzuoglio then jumped onto the hood of the car. The car was driven byDeputy Kim Bauer, who was on her way to work.


Deputy Bauer called for backup. Fizzuoglio was screamingthat she had just seen her friend killed and that someone was trying to killher, although she did not state who was involved. When she told the deputiesshe had taken cocaine, they believed she was overdosing and sent her to thehospital in an ambulance. Broward deputies eventually realized Fizzuoglio wastelling the truth and she was later interviewed at the hospital.


Two teenage males who had previously purchased drugs fromPeller arrived at Peller’s apartment at approximately9:30 p.m. They were able to enter the apartment because the door was ajar. Theywent inside and found Peller lying against the wall. They then went through theapartment looking for drugs and left. One of the boys reported the murder bymaking an anonymous phone call to the police.


Around 11:00 p.m., Hudson called his friend Robert Moreauand asked to be picked up at a Dairy Queen in Pompano Beach. Moreau picked upHudson at 11:15 p.m. and took him to Moreau’s apartment where Hudson changedclothes.


On October 22, a deputy was dispatched to the FirstPresbyterian Church of Pompano Beach in reference to a red Mustang that hadbeen left in the parking lot overnight.  The keys were in the ignition,still in the “on” position, and the battery was dead. The Mustang wasidentified as belonging to Fizzuoglio. Hudson’s DNA was found on the steeringwheel.


Fizzuoglio was interviewed several times after leaving thehospital. She eventually told detectives that the person who killed Peller wasnamed “Russell.” She also picked Hudson’s picture out of a photo lineup.


Hudson was arrested at 11:40 p.m. on October 21, when hearrived to pick up his black Nissan that was in the parking lot in front of Peller’s apartment. Hudson’s wallet contained Fizzuoglio’s driver’s license and Peller’scredit cards and driver’s license. Hudson had used one of Peller’scredit cards at a gas station the morning after the murder. A .9-mm cartridgewas found inside the vehicle.


After being taken into custody, Hudson told deputies thatMejia told him to kill Peller. He said that he refused to commit the murder andwent to Peller’s apartment to warn him about Mejia.Fizzuoglio and Peller were having an argument. Peller asked Hudson to deliversome marijuana to Pompano Beach. He asked Fizzuoglio to take him, so that shecould cool off from the argument, although he drove because she was too upsetto drive. Fizzuoglio dropped him off and never returned.


Hudson also told the deputies that he had Peller’s credit cards and the two driver’s licenses becausehe went to a club with Peller and Fizzuoglio several days before the murder.Drinks were spilled on the table where Peller’s walletand Fizzuoglio’s driver’s license were lying. In theconfusion Hudson picked up the items, put them in his pocket, and forgot toreturn them. He said he accidentally used Peller’scredit card at the gas station.


The murder weapon was found on July 20, 2002. A gardenerfound the handgun in a flower bed next to the same church where the Mustang wasfound. The serial number matched the gun stolen from Peller’sapartment. There were no fingerprints found on the gun.




Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:



Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length


Second-Degree Murder




25 years


Grand Theft




5 years



Trial Summary:


11/15/01         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:        Kidnapping    

05/12/04         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

06/25/04         Jury recommended death by a vote of 7-5

03/17/06         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         Kidnapping – Life



Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 06-748

992 So. 2d 96


04/19/06         Appeal filed

07/03/08         Appeal denied

10/13/08         Mandate issued


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 08-7918

129 S. Ct. 1360


12/19/08         Petition filed

02/23/09         Petition denied 



Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


The defendant’s directappeal was pending for more than two years.



Case Information:


On 04/19/06, Hudson fileda direct appeal with the Florida State Supreme Court citing the followingissues: Jury instructions, inappropriate application of HAC and CCP aggravators,hearsay testimony, constitutionality and proportionality of the death penalty,and insufficiency of evidence. The appeal was denied on 07/03/08.


On 12/19/08, Hudson fileda Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. Thispetition was denied on 02/23/09.



Report Date:    07/10/08         KLH

Approved:      07/15/08          KLH

Updated:        04/15/09         KLH