- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a state prison inmate charged in the beating death of a western Pennsylvania prison guard.

Twenty-three-year-old Paul Kendrick is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and other counts in the February assault that killed 61-year-old Sgt. Mark Baserman at the State Correctional Institution-Somerset.

The Somerset County district attorney announced Monday that her office will seek capital punishment if Kendrick is convicted of first-degree murder.

District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said factors justifying the death penalty include the fact that the victim was an on-duty corrections officer; that the homicide was committed along with another felony, aggravated assault; and that the defendant was convicted of a previous murder and was serving a life term.

Defense attorney Michael Kuhn didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

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