Calif. cop killer on death row found dead in cell

Timothy Russell, convicted of killing 2 cops in 1997, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his San Quentin cell

By Robert J. Lopez
Los Angeles Times

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — A 53-year-old man convicted of killing two Riverside County Sheriff's Department deputies in 1997 has died after possibly committing suicide, corrections authorities said Monday afternoon.

Timothy Russell was convicted in the ambush slayings of James Lehmann Jr., 41, an Apple Valley resident, and Michael Haugen 33, who lived in San Jacinto.

The deputies had responded to an early morning domestic-violence call outside a remote desert-area mobile home where Russell lived.

Authorities said Russell was hiding behind scrub brush and opened fire with a World War II-vintage military carbine as the deputies got out of their patrol cars in pre-dawn darkness on Jan. 5. They died at the scene.

Russell had been on death row since Jan. 14, 1999, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

He was found unresponsive late Friday in his single-inmate cell at San Quentin State Prison and pronounced dead the next day. His death is being investigated as a suicide, corrections officials said in a statement.

Copyright 2013 the Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

logo for print