A cop killer sentenced to death for ambushing two Riverside County (Calif.) Sheriff's deputies committed suicide late Friday in his prison cell.

Timothy Russell, 53, was found unconscious late Friday and pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. Saturday at San Quentin State Prison. He was alone in his cell, reports the Press Enterprise.

Russell has been on death row since Jan. 14, 1999, following his conviction and sentencing for the murders of Deputies James Lehmann, 41, and Michael Haugen, 33, two years earlier.

Russell ambushed the two deputies on Jan. 5, 1997, after they responded to a domestic violence call at his desert home west of Palm Springs. Russell's estranged wife had run to a neighbor's home to call 911 to report that he struck and kicked her. As the deputies approached, Russell fired a dozen shots from an M1 carbine, killing them before they could draw their weapons.

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