A 19-year-old man may have stabbed his roommate to death over a new puppy on New Year’s Eve in southeast Houston, according to court documents.
Derrion Mitchell is accused of killing 45-year-old Adrienne Russell in the backyard of her home on Flushing Meadows Drive near Astoria Boulevard and Grace Church.
On Dec. 31, 2022, at about 9:25 p.m., Houston police responded to the home and found the woman dead with multiple stab wounds.
Officers reported that night that the woman lived there with her roommate, who told police he had stepped out and left her alone. When he returned, he said he found her gurgling from the stabbing in the backyard, called police, and started CPR, but she did not make it.
In a later update, ABC13 learned that Mitchell had been arrested and charged with Russell’s murder.
According to records, Mitchell was a third person living at the house for the last couple of weeks.
The whole thing is believed to have started when Mitchell got a small brown puppy for Christmas, which he kept locked in his room.
The dog whined constantly, and Russell, who was a pet lover, allegedly got upset with Mitchell over this.
Court records said the roommate who called the cops initially said he left the house to go on a bike ride before the murder.
He stated he was gone for 30 minutes and believed that Mitchell came to the house while he was gone and killed Russell.
Police talked with neighbors, who said they heard a loud argument and screaming between two men and the victim that night but didn’t think anything of it since it was a pretty common thing to hear.
Surveillance video obtained by police from a home across the street shows a person at 9:13 p.m. run out the front door of Russell’s home, followed by another person. Both of them go through a side gate and into the backyard. Another person then leaves and re-enters the home.
At 9:18 p.m., the video shows a person exit through the front door and walks to the northwest corner of the home towards Astoria Boulevard, then quickly walks and jogs away.
The roommate is then seen calling 911 at 9:22 p.m., records state, and police and paramedics arrive.
On Jan 2, 2023, police said the ex-boyfriend of the victim called them to give them more information about the murder.
The ex-boyfriend also told investigators Mitchell was living there for the last couple of weeks and was attempting to get his belongings from the home.
The roommate, who said Russell and Mitchell got along fine before the puppy, said he did not initially tell the whole truth in a recorded interview with police.
Records reveal that he ultimately said he was actually inside the home during the incident, but that he was scared Mitchell would come after him after he threatened him by saying, “I can get to you faster that they can get to me.”
In the interview, he told police he was playing video games when he heard Russell yelling in the living room. When he went to see what was going on, he said he saw Russell lying on the ground and Mitchell hitting her. He said he pulled Mitchell off and that the fight happened because the dog was brought to the home and left there.
The man said Mitchell got away from his grasp, ran into the kitchen, and grabbed a large knife.
Russell had already gotten to the back door to go into the backyard, the roommate told investigators. That’s when Mitchell reportedly went after her through the front door. The man said he tried to stop Mitchell, saying “You don’t want to do this. You don’t want to kill somebody.”
Mitchell reportedly responded by saying, “I do this every day,” and went into the backyard through the fence, fell onto Russell, and started stabbing her.
Records said the roommate once again pulled Mitchell off of the victim. That’s when Mitchell told him he would come after him if he snitched.
Mitchell allegedly walked back into the house through the back door, grabbed his dog, and left with the knife in his hand.
The roommate described Mitchell as a Black man in his early twenties, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall.
Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.