East Texas prison inmate dies; investigators suspect cellmate

East Texas prison inmate dies; investigators suspect cellmate

NEW BOSTON, TX (KSLA) - Authorities are investigating the death of an inmate at an East Texas prison as a homicide.

And they he say he died a day after allegedly being beaten by his cellmate.

Security personnel at the Barry B. Telford Unit at New Boston, Texas, were making rounds at 4:16 a.m. June 25 when they found 29-year-old Pete Ayala unresponsive in his cell, said Robert C. Hurst, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Ayala's cellmate, 22-year-old Justin Williams, was restrained and removed from the cell.

And staffers called 911 and began efforts to save Ayala's life.

He was taken to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, where an attending physician pronounced him dead the next day.

Preliminary indications are that Williams assaulted Ayala, Hurst said.

Williams began serving a 50-year sentence in November after being convicted of murder with a deadly weapon.

Ayala was transferred from Henderson County, Texas, to the Telford Unit in December 2009 to serve a 40-year sentence after being convicted on an identical charge.

Ayala's death is being investigated by the Texas inspector general's office.

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