Surveillance video shown in Punta Gorda murder trial

Published: Updated:
Michael J Russo (Photo courtesy of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office)

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. The parents of Kyle Farishian looked on Wednesday as surveillance footage of his November 2015 murder was shown in court.

The video left Farishian’s mother in tears as the trial for the 29-year-old man accused of the killing at a 7-Eleven got underway. Michael Russo faces second-degree murder and first-degree arson charges.

The footage showed Farishian being shot twice. Gasoline was then poured all over his body and the counter before the store was set ablaze.

Farishian’s remains were found at the charred convenience store on the intersection of Bal Harbor Boulevard and Aqui Esta Drive.

Russo was angry after being banned from the store following two separate confrontations with another employee, state attorney Shannon Doolity said.
“This wasn’t a robbery. This was personal,” she said.

But it wasn’t Russo who committed the crime, the defense told the jury.

“They found no murder weapon,” said Mark DeSisto, Russo’s attorney. “They found no blood evidence, no fire evidence, no DNA evidence. Nothing scientific to tie Mr. Russo to this murder.”

Farishian’s parents were called to testify.

There are six jurors and three alternates seated for the trial.

Court will resume Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

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