PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – A Russell County jury convicted Michael Huff of Phenix City on Wednesday, Nov. 16, of first-degree manslaughter and hindering prosecution in a case prosecuted by Russell County District Attorney Rick Chancey.
The charges come after an incident on February 9 of this year in which Huff’s sister, Beverly Huff Dunn, died as a result of 28 stab wounds, including one to the heart, by Huff’s wife, Rhonda Crute, who pleaded guilty to murder in October . Both will be sentenced Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. by Judge David Johnson.
Phoenix City Police officers responded to the crime scene at Dunn’s Blake Apartments home around 11 p.m. after Huff notified police, more than four hours after he knew his sister had been stabbed. Before contacting police, Huff had driven his wife back to their home on Ponderosa Drive.
According to the Russell County District Attorney’s Office, at Huff and Crute’s home, Crute said, “Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Crute told Huff that she was not sorry for what she had done and that, in fact, she would do it again.” , prompting Huff to call the police to report his sister’s murder. Before calling, he threatened Crute that he would call if she didn’t leave within 20 minutes, prosecutors say.
According to Huff’s testimony, he and Crute had used methamphetamine on the day of Dunn’s death. The two arrived at Dunn’s apartment around 6 p.m., but Huff left Crute and Dunn alone in the apartment as he went to a local restaurant, even though he knew Crute had kept an 18-inch boning knife in her boot.
When Huff returned about 20 to 30 minutes later, he found his sister in a pool of blood and “knew all hell had to break loose,” according to the Russell County District Attorney’s Office. The office says Huff later testified that Crute had a “crazy look” and that he knew he should never have left her alone in the apartment with his sister.
The Russell County District Attorney’s Office says Crute had a history of homicidal tendencies and delusions. Crute was also charged with second-degree arson, four counts of aggravated assault on an individual and aggravated assault on a police officer after the Columbus Police Department (CPD) responded to a residence on 20th Street following a 911 call from Huff in 2018.
Huff was rescued by CPD officers after he was shot with a .308 rifle by Crute, who also burned down the 20th Street apartment building.
Following the conviction, Crute was released from the Muscogee County Jail on probation. However, according to the Russell County District Attorney’s Office, Huff requested that her probation be transferred to Russell County, Alabama.
Although Crute’s probation was postponed in February 2022, she violated the terms of probation by using drugs and other reasons in March of that year, and Crute was returned to Georgia in April 2022 by the Russell County Probation Office, which then took over supervision Crute dropped the case, prosecutors said.
Phenix City Police, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and the Russell County Coroner’s Office were involved in this case.