- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) - A prison inmate has been charged with criminal homicide in the strangulation death of his cellmate at a western Pennsylvania prison earlier this year.

Twenty-four-year-old Raphael Spearman of Philadelphia is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and assault by a prisoner in the Jan. 10 death of 22-year-old Ronald Yarbough of Cresson in the State Correctional Institution-Greene.

State police said prison guards found Yarbough unresponsive in the cell the two shared in the Franklin Township prison. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht ruled the cause of death to be mechanical asphyxiation.

Prison public information officer Tracy Shawley said the two had been housed together for a very short time in SCI-Greene’s special needs unit, which houses inmates with mental, emotional or physical disabilities.

Court documents don’t list an attorney for Spearman.

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