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Texas Inmate is Convicted in Guard's Death

April 24, 2002

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Texas Inmate is Convicted in Guard's Death

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CORPUS CHRISTI -- A jury convicted prison inmate Robert Lynn Pruett on Tuesday in the 1999 stabbing death of a Beeville correctional officer.

The jury deliberated eight hours over two days before returning the verdict Tuesday afternoon. The penalty phase of the trial begins Thursday.

Jurors listened again Tuesday morning to testimony from inmates who were at the McConnell Unit on Dec. 17, 1999, when Daniel Nagle, 37, was killed, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported in a story in its online edition Tuesday.

One inmate testified to seeing the attack, and another was told by Pruett that Nagle was going to be killed that day.

Pruett, 22, faces either life in prison or the death penalty. He was serving time on a murder conviction out of Harris County when Nagle was killed.

Prosecutors said the dispute between Nagle and Pruett started when the correctional officer wouldn't let the inmate take a sack lunch into a recreation yard.

Nagle's death was the first time a Texas corrections officer was killed in the line of duty since Minnie Houston was stabbed to death at the Ellis Unit near Huntsville in 1984.

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