Life in Prison for Cellmate Strangler

A Pennsylvania prison inmate has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole in the strangulation death of a new cellmate last year.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry also imposed an additional 45- to 90-month assault term Monday on 22-year-old William Cramer, calling him “a very violent person.”

Prosecutors said Cramer used a torn bedsheet to kill 28-year-old William Sherry only hours after he was moved into the cell and tried to make it look like suicide.

Cramer said Monday he believed his trial had been unfair.

The defense said Cramer acted in the heat of the moment and didn't intend to kill, so he shouldn't be convicted of first-degree murder.

"It was difficult to overcome the physical evidence, especially the testimony ... about the injuries prior to strangulation," county public defender Ryan Gleason said after the verdict last month.

Prosecutors said Cramer, who is white, disliked Sherry because he thought he'd fathered a biracial child, something authorities later said wasn't true.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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