2 federal inmates found guilty in prisoner's death

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Associated Press

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two federal inmates are awaiting word on whether they'll be sentenced to death for the slaying of a fellow prisoner at a Missouri medical center.

A federal jury in Springfield on Wednesday found 34-year-old Wesley Paul Coonce Jr., from Texas, and 43-year-old Charles Michael Hall, from Maine, guilty of murder for the Jan. 26, 2010 slaying of 51-year-old Victor Castro-Rodriguez.

Court documents show both men admitted stepping on Castro's throat after he was bound and gagged in his cell at the Federal Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield.

Investigators said both also claimed that if they hadn't killed Castro, they would have taken someone else's life.

Jurors now are debating whether to sentence the men to death or life in prison, with a decision not expected for weeks.

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