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Walter Cassell

Walter Cassell

A 67-year-old inmate died at the Montana State Prison Tuesday after an extended illness.

Walter Cassell had been in prison since 1995 when he was convicted of beating and stabbing to death John Formo at a Laurel home. Co-defendant Douglas Castle was also convicted of deliberate homicide.

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Cassell said he was coerced into confessing by Yellowstone County detectives, but District Court Judge Maurice Colberg Jr. ruled he was not and allowed prosecutors to submit the confession at trial, according to Billings Gazette archives.

Colberg sentenced Cassell to 100 years in prison. He became eligible for parole in 2012, according to a press release from the Department of Corrections on Friday announcing Cassell's death.

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