New Jersey

Convicted Murderer Who Killed Artist, Fellow Inmate Dies in NJ Prison

In this April 9, 2020, file photo, a fence surrounds the Cook County jail complex in Chicago, Illinois.
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A man who raped and killed a Pennsylvania artist and who fatally beat a fellow inmate on New Jersey's death row has died in prison.

Ambrose Harris, 68, died Tuesday at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, the state Department of Corrections said. Officials did not release a cause of death.

Harris was sentenced to death and sent to prison in 1994 for kidnapping, raping and killing 22-year-old Kristin Huggins. The Bucks County, Pennsylvania, artist and recent Temple University graduate was painting a community mural in Trenton in 1992.

While in prison, authorities said Harris viciously beat inmate Robert “Mudman” Simon, 48, to death in a recreation area in 1999. Simon was a motorcycle gang member who was sentenced to death for the 1995 murder of Franklin Township Police Sgt. Ippolito Gonzalez.

A jury acquitted Harris of Simon's death, saying he acted in self-defense.

Retired Trenton Deputy Police Chief Joe Constance, who led the team of detectives on the Huggins case, told NJ Advance Media Wednesday that Harris was “the most evil person I’ve encountered in the 32 years I was on the job.”

Harris' life was spared when New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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