David Zanon, 2007
CHP Officer Douglas Scott Russell
PLACERVILLE, CA - David Zanon, convicted of deliberately running down a California Highway Patrol officer with a car three years ago, has been sentenced to death.
Zanon was convicted last month of first-degree murder with enhancements in the July 31, 2007 death of Officer Douglas Scott Russell. Russell, 46, was struck by Zanon's car during a high speed-police pursuit on Highway 50 in Shingle Springs. Russell had just finished putting down a spike strip to halt Zanon when he was hit.
Zanon was being pursued by officers after he was seen outside a Rancho Cordova Napa Auto Parts store that had just been burglarized.
Russell had served with the CHP 22 years.
"Either way it would have been okay with me because he wouldn't be out there to do anything to anybody else," said Bettie Elliott, Russell's mother.
"I hope I live long enough to see it happen," she said, speaking of the execution.
Most were not surprised with the death sentence, others felt closure with it.
"Justice was served. I'm very happy," said Scott's Widow Lynn. "I can't say I was expecting it, (but) I was hoping for it."
Zanon was also convicted of two charges of attempted murder of another CHP officer and a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy during the chase.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow thanked the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office, El Dorado County Superior Court and jurors for their work.
"Today, justice has finally been served for the cold-blooded killing of Officer Scott Russell," Farrow said. 'While nothing can erase the ever-lasting pain and sorrow felt by Officer Russell's family and friends, may today's decision at least bring some relief that this process is over."