'Master Manipulator' daughter pleas for mom to stay in prison
A 'master manipulator', that's what one Fresno woman is calling her own mother. She says her mom devised a plan to kill her dad in hopes of collecting a million dollar life insurance plan.
Susan Russo was convicted of murdering her husband 22 years ago and was granted parole in January but she has yet to be released.
The memory of a father gazing up at his daughter, is what Devon Russo holds near.
"We are always laughing in pictures, I know he loved me," said Russo.
However, it's far from the reality she's known. 43- year-old, David Russo, who was stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, was shot and killed as he slept in his Riverdale home in 1994.
"My sister witnessed it. She heard the gun shots and witnessed everything. I was two when I got out of my crib, crawled down the hallway and I opened the door. I just saw my dad covered in blood," said Russo.
Devon's mother, Susan Russo was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 1996 after she, her lover and a friend plotted to kill her husband.
"She got mixed in with the wrong crowd and started doing drugs," said Russo.
Russo wasn't supposed to get out of prison but that changed when Governor Jim Brown decided to cut her sentence short.
"She claimed she was a battered woman and my dad use to beat her and that's why she murdered him. She said couldn't take the abuse anymore. But when my mom got arrested in the beginning she never said anything about being hit or verbally abused," said Russo.
Russo's parole granted this past January, even after Devon wrote a letter to the parole board saying she was against it. She called her mother a master manipulator, who is still a threat.
"I have to worry about my own mother coming and possibly killing me it is a scary thing that you don't take lightly. I don't think that I was heard. I am not just reliving something, it is really a scary thing for someone to murder your own dad, not have any contact with you and all of sudden pops back up in your life," said Russo.
At this point, it's unclear when Russo will actually get out of prison. Devon says she will continue to fight this and hopes more people will hear about her story.
David Russo was found dead in the back of his car near King's River. The two men who helped Susan Russo kill her husband are still in prison.