Man pleads manslaughter to 2015 Bay Area high school student shooting

On Friday, a 25-year-old man from Vallejo made an indisputable plea in Solano County Superior Court to manslaughter for shooting a high school student in Vallejo more than six years ago.

Under a plea deal with the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, Zachery Allen Kroll, who appeared in Department 15 for a trial in the morning session, will serve 21 years in state prison when ‘He will be sentenced on March 11 in Judge Robert Bowers’ courtroom at the Fairfield Justice Center.

Assistant District Attorney Melainee Collins continued the case and Fairfield criminal defense attorney Vincent R. Maher represented Kroll.

Kroll on May 14, 2015, shot and killed Kenneth Maxwell “Max” Rusk, 17, of Vallejo, a student at Jesse Bethel High School, on a trail near the Ascot Parkway campus.

Elisha Marcel White Jr., 16 at the time of the shooting, was also originally charged in the case. He was indicted as an adult, but the case against him was dismissed on November 1, 2017, according to court records.

Austin Leandro Lonzanida, accused of theft with Kroll, was also indicted at the time. The robbery, also at the high school, took place a few days before the murder. Court records indicate that Lonzanida’s probation was reinstated early last year.

Vallejo police arrested Kroll and White the day after the shooting.

Although police said Rusk and Kroll knew each other, Rusk’s mother and girlfriend said they did not recognize the suspects.

The Rusk family settled in 2018 a lawsuit filed in 2016 against the Vallejo City Unified School District, with $ 350,000 payable to their son’s estate.

With the plea deal, Kroll avoided the possibility of being found guilty at trial and, thus, faces 25 years in life in prison, plus more time for using a firearm, among other circumstances.

Kroll had pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains at Stanton Correctional Center in Fairfield on $ 1.5 million bail.

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