PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) — A Russell County jury convicted Phenix City resident Michael Huff of Manslaughter and Hindering Prosecution First Degree on Wednesday, Nov. 16 in a case prosecuted by Russell County District Attorney Rick Chancey.
The charges come after an incident on Feb. 9 of this year which left Huff’s sister, Beverly Huff Dunn, dead as the result of 28 stab wounds, including one to the heart, by Huff’s wife Rhonda Crute who pled guilty to Murder in October. Both will be sentenced Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. by Judge David Johnson.
Officers of the Phenix City Police Department responded to the scene at the home of Dunn located at Blake Apartments at about 11 p.m., after Huff notified the police, more than four hours after he knew his sister was stabbed. Before contacting police, Huff had driven his wife back to their Ponderosa Drive apartment.
According to the Russell County District Attorney’s Office, at Huff and Crute’s home, “Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Crute told Huff that she was not sorry for what she had done and, in fact, she would do it again,” prompting Huff to call the police to report his sister’s murder. Before calling, he threatened Crute he would make the call if she did not leave in 20 minutes, the district attorney’s office states.
By Huff’s testimony, on the day of Dunn’s death, he and Crute had been using methamphetamine. The two arrived at Dunn’s residence around 6 p.m., but Huff left Crute and Dunn alone at the apartment as he traveled to a local restaurant, although he was aware Crute had an 18-inch boning knife stored in her boot.
When Huff returned about 20 to 30 minutes later, he found his sister in a pool of blood and “knew ‘that all hell must have broken loose,’” according to the Russell County District Attorney’s Office. The office states Huff later testified Crute had a “crazy look” and he knew he should have never left her alone at the apartment with his sister.
The Russell County District Attorney’s Office states Crute had a history of homicidal tendencies and delusions. Crute was also charged with Arson Second Degree, Aggravated Assault on an individual and four Counts of Aggravated Assault on a police officer after the Columbus Police Department (CPD) responded to a 20th Street residence after a 911 call made by Huff in 2018.
Huff was rescued by CPD officers, having been shot by Crute with a .308 rifle, who also burned down the 20th Street residence.
Following the conviction, Crute was released from Muscogee County Jail on probation, however Huff requested her probation be transferred to Russell County, Ala., according to the Russell County District Attorney’s Office.
Although Crute’s probation was transferred in Feb. 2022, she violated the terms of the probation by using drugs and for other reasons in March of that year and Crute was returned to Georgia in April 2022 by the Russell County Probation Office, which subsequently closed supervision of the case, states the district attorney’s office.
The Phenix City Police Department, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and the Russell County Coroner’s Office were all involved in this case.