Vidak and Other Legislators Urge Governor Brown NOT to Release Convicted Murderer Susan Lee Russo

Friday, March 2, 2018

David Russo

Sacramento – State Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) on Friday delivered a letter to Governor Jerry Brown’s office urging 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.

Last year in an interview with KFSN-TV, Russo’s daughter Devin said of her mother, "She did all this knowing in 23 years that there was a possibility for her to be paroled, if she did everything right. My mom is very, very, very, very sick person.”

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’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.”

Click here to view Senator Vidak’s letter to Governor Brown (pdf)