Today Michael James Russo, 29, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2015 killing of Kyle Farishian. Russo was found guilty as charged for Second Degree Murder and First Degree Arson by a jury in Charlotte County following a trial in June.
Russo’s convictions came as a result of the November 1, 2015 incident where he entered a convenience store in Punta Gorda and shot and killed the 18 year old store clerk. He then proceeded to douse gasoline over both the victim and the counter attempting to set them both ablaze. He succeeded in setting the fire on his third attempt.
The entire crime was captured on the store’s surveillance video which helped lead to identifying Russo. Assistant State Attorneys Shannon Doolity, Dan Feinberg of our Homicide Unit, and Kyle Stublen handled the case, working closely with the Punta Gorda Police Department to put the case together.
“This was a heinous crime and now a dangerous individual is off the streets for good, “ said ASA Feinberg.
Russo also received 30 years in prison for the First Degree Arson charge which will run concurrently to the life sentence.
State Attorney’s Office