North Carolina death row inmate dies of natural causes

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina death row inmate has died of natural causes.

Media outlets report that 76-year-old Jerry Ray Cummings died Saturday at a hospital in Chapel Hill.

Cummings was originally convicted and sentenced to death for the 1986 shooting death of his 76-year-old neighbor Jesse Ward at his home in Robeson County.

The death sentence was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990 because of a flaw in the North Carolina's death penalty law. Another sentencing trial was held in 1997.

Prosecutors alleged that Cummings killed Ward in a dispute over a dog that Ward had sold to Cummings' cousin. Cummings said he was innocent.

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