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Inmate admits murdering cellmate, now faces possible death sentence

(Sam Penrod/KSL-TV)


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GUNNISON — An inmate pleaded guilty Monday to murdering another inmate at the Central Utah Correctional Facility and now faces a possible death sentence.

No plea deal was offered to Steven Crutcher, 35, who pleaded guilty as charged to aggravated murder, a capital offense.

A 12-member jury will be seated in January to determine whether Crutcher should be sentenced to die or remain in prison without the possibility of parole.

On April 20, 2013, Rolando Cardona-Gueton, 62, was found dead in his prison cell in Gunnison. After several months of investigation, Crutcher was charged in Manti's 6th District Court. In July of 2014, prosecutors filed notice of their intent to seek the death penalty.

Cardona-Gueton, a native Cuban, was in prison on a conviction of drug possession.

Race is believed to be a motivating factor in the murder.

At the time of the killing, Crutcher was serving a sentence of 10 years to life in prison for kidnapping an Iron County Jail officer in July of 2009 after finishing a jail visit.

Contributing: Sam Penrod

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