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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Elvin Bishop's daughter's killer commits suicide

APCalifornia prison officials say a death row inmate who killed guitarist Elvin Bishop's daughter and four others in a failed extortion scheme died of an apparent suicide.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Monday that 41-year-old Justin Alan Helzer was found dead Sunday night in his single cell at San Quentin Prison. CDCR Lt. Sam Robinson didn't disclose the exact cause of death.

Helzer and his brother each were sentenced to death in 2005 for the murders.

Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 58 death row inmates have died from natural causes, 22 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri; and six have died from other causes. There are 733 inmates remaining on death row.

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