Texas death row inmate Neal unresponsive, dies

A death row inmate facing execution over the 2004 rape and slaying of a San Antonio teacher during a robbery has died.

John Moriarty, inspector general for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, on Wednesday confirmed the death of 39-year-old Ronnie Joe Neal. Neal was condemned for the fatal shooting of 58-year-old Diane Tilly.

Moriarty told The Associated Press that his office is doing an independent investigation, but that Neal's death Saturday appeared to be from natural causes. Autopsy results are pending. Moriarty says there is no
indication of foul play.

Moriarty says Neal was found unresponsive in his single-person cell at the Polunsky Unit and was transported to Memorial Medical Center in Livingston. Neal was pronounced dead shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday.


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