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Man Pleads Guilty On All Charges In Death Of Blair County Corrections Officer

Authorities say the man charged in the death of Blair County corrections officer Rhonda Russell has pleaded guilty to all the charges he faced.

According to the Blair County DA’s office, Christopher Aikens appeared in court Monday morning where he entered the guilty plea prior to his scheduled jury selection.

Aikens faces over two dozen charges in Russell’s death, including second-degree murder, murder of a law enforcement officer and multiple counts of aggravated assault.

Officer Russell was killed in November of 2021 when authorities say Aikens attempted to escape from central court by taking her gun and holding her hostage.

Investigators say a responding Altoona officer opened fired and unintentionally struck Officer Russell during the confrontation.

After multiple scheduling changes, Aikens was finally due to go to trial next month.

The DA’s office that during Monday’s plea, Aikens also pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges in the case that initially sent him to jail.

According to online court records, Aikens will be sentenced on Nov. 13th.

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