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Man who murdered black West Virginia teen dies in custody

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Posted at 7:05 AM, Oct 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-05 07:05:08-04

GRAYSON, Ky. (AP) — Authorities in Kentucky said foul play is not suspected in the death of a white inmate who was convicted of killing a black West Virginia teenager that he had called a "piece of trash."

U.S. Marshal Service Deputy Fred Lamey confirmed that William Ronald Pulliam, 65, died Thursday at the Carter County Detention Center. News outlets reported that authorities have not released his cause of death, pending an autopsy.

Pulliam pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder for shooting James Means, 15, in 2016. Prosecutors had recommended a 20-year sentence, but a sentencing hearing had not been held.

In the criminal complaint, Charleston, West Virginia police wrote that Pulliam described Means' death as "another piece of trash off the street." Pulliam was not charged with a hate crime.

Pulliam was incarcerated as a federal inmate in the custody of U.S. Marshals.