Clark Fork, Idaho: The Coeur d'Alene Press is reporting that Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall filed an amended criminal complaint against 39-year-old James David Russell on Wednesday, December 16 related to the September 10 murder of 70-year-old David Flaget.
Russell has now been charged with murder and cannibalism.
"As far as I know, this is the first cannibalism charge in Idaho," Bonner County Detective Phillip Stella stated.
Court proceedings were paused in late October when First District Magistrate Judge Tara Harden determined that Russell was unfit to stand trial and referred him to the Idaho Security Medical Program for treatment.
Russell is due back in court for a hearing on December 28.
On September 10 the Bonner County Sheriff's Office received a call indicating that a witness had spotted Flaget inside of his truck and they suspected that the man had been killed.
When Officers arrived to the scene Russell, observed wearing gloves, fled the scene and barricaded himself inside of a loft space over the garage where he was residing for a short time. After a short stand off, he complied with officer orders and was taken into custody without further incident.
Officers approached the vehicle find Flaget bound, stripped from the waist down, and positioned upside down in the passenger side of the truck. Several chunks of flesh were found to be missing.
Russell seemed to not understand his Miranda Rights at the time of the arrest, but did make statements concerning the property being private and "we don't like non-family on it."
Flaget had several conflict-like-run-ins with Russell and told the family about them," Stella reported. "The family had enough warning signs that Mr. Russell was a danger to himself and others."
Flaget had worked for the family as a care-taker.
During the execution of a search warrant the following day, officers recovered blood and tissue from a bowl inside of a microwave. Court documents indicate that testing revealed the tissue had been heated, possibly in the microwave, for one to two minutes.
Some of Flaget's tissue was never recovered according to East Idaho News.
Bonner County Coroner Robert Beers stated in a probable cause affidavit that Flaget likely died due to "massive trauma" to the head and that his body revealed "evidence of post mortem mayhem."
"There's a lot of facets we will certainly never know," Stella said. "It wasn't the bloodiest crime scene, but it's more of the psychological, 'What the heck is going on here?' and 'Why am I picking up pieces?' It's a walk down the dark path that we don't see very often."
In May, Russell had been receiving treatment for mental health in California. According to a supplemental probable cause statement, he had told family members at the time that he wanted to "cut chunks of his skin off with a knife," in order to "cure his brain."