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Stockbroker Gets 55 Years to Life in Wife's Murder

September 13, 2006|Peter Y. Hong | Times Staff Writer

A stockbroker who shot and killed his wife in their Arcadia home was sentenced Tuesday to 55 years to life in prison after a jury rejected his insanity plea.

Richard Robert Russo, 51, was convicted Aug. 31 of first-degree murder for the slaying of his wife, Carmen, 42, on Aug. 29, 2005.

Russo barricaded himself in the house for eight hours before surrendering to police.

Russo was also convicted of child endangerment because the couple's children, ages 6 and 11 at the time, were in the house during the standoff.

Judge Michelle Rosenblatt sentenced Russo after the jury's finding late Monday that he was sane.

The sentence includes consecutive terms of 25 years to life for first-degree murder, 25 years to life for using a handgun in the murder, four years for child endangerment and an additional year for using a gun in the child endangerment.

Russo's lawyer had argued in trial that his client suffered from depression and had been emotionally abused by his wife.

According to testimony, Russo, a Smith Barney senior vice president, shot her after learning that she had been having an affair with a gym trainer.

Tests showed Russo had large amounts of Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, in his body when he was arrested. Russo's adult daughter, who was attending college in Hawaii at the time of the murder, now has custody of the couple's children.

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peter.hong@latimes.com

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