Inmate convicted in killing of cellmate

CANON CITY, Colo. -  A 50-year-old man has been convicted of beating his cellmate to death with two padlocks at a correctional facility in Canon City.

The Canon City Daily Record reported Ponciano Zendejas-Garces was found guilty Friday of manslaughter and possession of contraband stemming from the Dec. 30, 2010, death of James Schneider at the medium-security Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility. Zendejas-Garces is set to be sentenced Nov. 28.

Prosecutors told jurors Schneider was sleeping when he was attacked, but defense attorneys say their client acted out of fear after previous assaults by Schneider, who was heavier, taller and younger than Zendejas-Garces.

Zendejas-Garces was in prison for the stabbing death of his common-law wife, while Schneider was sentenced for forgery.

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