Inmate Convicted in Grisly Murder

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Denver (AP) Federal jurors have convicted a prison inmate of first-degree murder for killing his cellmate and using the victim's internal organs to taunt guards.

The jury will now decide whether 32-year-old William Sablan should be executed for the October 1999 death of 33-year-old Joey Estrella.

The two were cellmates at the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence when Estrella was strangled, then cut open. Prosecutors say Sablan then used Estrella's entrails to taunt guards, as well as other inmates, and send a message that he deserved their respect.

Sablan's cousin, 47-year-old Rudy Sablan, was also in the cell. He's charged with first-degree murder and faces the death penalty, But his trial has not yet been scheduled.

William Sablan's attorneys had argued that brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder made him unable to control his impulses.

The Sablans are the first federal defendants in Colorado to face the death penalty since Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

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