Joshua Haliburton and Tripp Bird each pleaded not guilty Thursday to causing a wreck that ultimately claimed the life of a young mother of two.


Judge Larry Phillips accepted the not guilty pleas in the 59th State District Court. Haliburton and Bird were recently each indicted on charges of murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, accident involving death and accident involving serious bodily injury charges. The indictments are formal charges and are not considered evidence of guilt.


Previously published reports show that police contend Haliburton and Bird were involved in a wreck on July 29, 2016, in which Jennifer Russell was injured. The crash occurred on FM 691 near La Cima Road. Russell said she was a passenger in her boyfriend’s vehicle when he spit on a car that cut him off. That vehicle, she said, then forced their car into on-coming traffic and they hit a pickup head-on. Russell lost her right leg to injuries from the wreck. She was released from the hospital but then had to return months later and eventually died in December.


After hearing from a medical examiner about the cause of Russell’s death in April, the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office added additional charges to the accident involving serious bodily injury or death, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges the pair already faced in the wreck.


Halliburton was represented in court by Don Bailey and Bird was represented by Micah Belden.