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Judge overturns jury death sentence

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POSTED June 11, 2013 8:04 p.m.

STOCKTON  (AP) — A San Joaquin County judge has overturned a jury's decision to send a man to death row in the slaying of his prison cellmate — the second time he was convicted of killing a cellmate.

Judge Terrence Van Oss commuted the sentence of John Joseph Lydon on Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The 40-year-old Lydon was serving a 69-years-to-life term for the murder of a cellmate when authorities say he strangled another man.

A jury convicted Lydon of first-degree murder in the strangling and voted to give him the death penalty in February.

Van Oss said he took into account that Lyndon was a victim of child molestation by various men.

Both the cellmates Lyndon was convicted of killing were serving sentences for child molestation.


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