Man who murdered black West Virginia teen dies in custody

GRAYSON, Ky. (AP) — Authorities in Kentucky say foul play isn’t suspected in the death of a white inmate convicted of killing a black West Virginia teenager he had called a “piece of trash.”

U.S. Marshal Service Deputy Fred Lamey confirms 65-year-old William Ronald Pulliam died Thursday at the Carter County Detention Center. News outlets report that authorities haven’t released his cause of death, pending an autopsy.

Pulliam pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder for shooting 15-year-old James Means in 2016. Prosecutors had recommended a 20-year sentence, but a sentencing hearing hadn’t been held.

In the criminal complaint, Charleston, West Virginia, police wrote that Pulliam described Means’ death as “another piece of trash off the street.” Pulliam wasn’t charged with a hate crime.

Pulliam was incarcerated as a federal inmate in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

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