Case delayed as accused Salem shooter decides to use public defender

MARION COUNTY — A 19-year-old Salem male charged with shooting another man in the abdomen last month decided Wednesday in Marion County court to move forward with a court-appointed attorney rather than hire a private attorney.

Nathaniel Fink

Nathaniel A. Fink is charged with Class X felony aggravated battery by the discharge of a firearm and Class 1 felony aggravated discharge of a firearm at an occupied structure.

Fink is accused of shooting 20-year-old Alexander Russell as Russell stood outside his home in the 1100 block of West Elm in Salem.

Russell was initially transported by ambulance to Salem Township Hospital. He was then airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital for surgery.

Fink and Russell are believed to have had a friendship prior to the shooting.

Fink initially indicated in court that he would hire a private attorney to represent him in the case but on Wednesday opted to instead use a public defender. Judge Marc Kelly appointed Public Defender Craig Griffin to represent Fink and rescheduled the preliminary hearing for September 24.

Fink remains in the Marion County Jail with bail set at $1 million. He had been admonished earlier this month that any delay in his case while he searched for a private attorney would be attributed to him for the purposes of a prompt preliminary hearing.

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