The man who was convicted in the infamous deaths of two Riverside County deputies more than a decade ago has killed himself, prison officials report.
According to The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Timothy Russell was found unresponsive in his San Quentin State Prison cell late Friday evening. He was pronounced dead a short time later, at 12:28 a.m. on Oct. 5. He was 53.
"The death is being investigated as a suicide," the agency reported Monday. "Russell was single-celled."
Russell was sentenced to death in 1999 for the Jan. 5, 1997 murder of deputies James Lehmann Jr., 41, of Apple Valley, and Michael Haugen, 33, of San Jacinto, according to the CDCR.
Both Haugen and Lehmann were assigned to the sheriff's Banning station at the time, and responded in the early morning hours to what would be their last call at a remote mobile home in the Whitewater area, to a report of domestic violence.
"As they walked in the darkness towards the mobile home, they were gunned down without warning by the husband of the victim, who was lying in wait," according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. "Both were killed instantly."
Haugen was survived by a wife and son at the time. Lehmann left behind a wife, son and daughter.