Attorney drops misconduct claim in Punta Gorda 7-11 killing investigation

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney
Published: Updated:

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. The attorney of a man accused of killing a 7-Eleven employee, then setting the store on fire, dropped his motion claiming investigative misconduct.

Mark DeSisto is allowed to mention his allegation when questioning inmate witnesses during trial, but agreed to not say “misconduct” when discussing the State Attorney’s Office.

DeSisto dropped the motion when prosecutors placed him on a witness list to discuss whether his claim was enough to keep inmate testimony from trial.

It was either testify or be removed from the case, DeSisto said.

DeSisto argued that prosecutors and detectives fed information to confidential jail informants to help their case against Michael Russo.

DeSisto’s claim centered around testimony by Mitchell Brooks, who told investigators that Russo made a statement insinuating his involvement in the killing and arson while they were in jail together.

Russo, 29, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson in the death of Kyle Farishian, 18, whose body was found following a fire at the 7-Eleven at Bal Harbor Boulevard and Aqui Esta Drive in November 2015.

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