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California inmate condemned in torture slaying dies in cell

Noel Jesse Plata
Posted at 4:05 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 19:05:09-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Prison officials say a California man sentenced to death for the 1995 torture slaying of an Orange County teenager has died of unknown causes.

Noel Jesse Plata was found unresponsive in his cell Monday at San Quentin State Prison and pronounced dead about a half-hour later. No foul play is suspected, but officials said the 45-year-old's death is being investigated. The cause of death will be decided by a coroner.

Plata and an accomplice were sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of 18-year-old Linda Park. The two gang members tortured her into revealing where her family kept its valuables, then strangled her.