Convicted Punta Gorda 7-11 killer, arsonist sentenced to life

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Michael Russo faces second-degree murder and first-degree arson charges 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.

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. A 29-year-old man convicted of killing a 7-Eleven clerk and setting the store on fire was sentenced Monday to life in prison.

Michael Russo received the life sentence on a second-degree murder charge and a 30-year sentence on a first-degree arson charge. He’ll serve those concurrently.

He was convicted in the death of Kyle Farishian, whose body was found after a fire in November 2015 at the convenience store at the intersection of Bal Harbor Boulevard and Aqui Esta Drive.

Following the conclusion of a two-week trial, the six-person jury deliberated for hours before producing a guilty verdict. Surveillance footage contributed to identifying Russo as a suspect in the case. However, the defense plans to appeal the decision, citing the prosecution’s inconclusive evidence.


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