State Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) is again urging Governor Jerry Brown to reverse the decision by the Board of Parole Hearings to grant parole to convicted murderer Susan Lee Russo. Nicknamed “the black widow” during her trial, Russo was convicted of first degree murder and conspiracy for her role in the 1994 murder of her husband David Russo, a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer at Lemoore Naval Air Station.
Susan Lee Russo was convicted in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Last year, Governor Brown commuted Russo’s sentence to life with the possibility of parole, making her eligible to be released.
Over the objections of Senior Chief Petty Officer Russo’s daughters and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, a two-member panel of the Board of Parole Hearings in January granted parole to Susan Lee Russo.
Retired detective Chris Curtis, who investigated the case while working for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office told KFSN-TV, "I don't care if she got her GED, took some college classes, or did whatever the hell she did. She is an evil woman, and she should stay in. I don't think the governor thought this one through."
Vidak delivered a letter Governor Brown’s office earlier this month urging the Governor to keep Russo behind bars.
Vidak’s letter is co-signed by Senators Joel Anderson, Mike Morrell, Jeff Stone, Ted Gaines, Tom Berryhill and Jim Nielsen, as well as Assemblymembers Melissa Melendez and Jim Patterson.
In closing, the letter urges Governor Brown NOT to “release psychopath Susan Lee Russo from prison and allow her into our communities.”
To contact Governor Brown’s office and request that he reverse the Board of Parole Hearing’s decision, you can call Governor's Legal Affairs Secretary Peter Krause at 916-445-0873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.