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Updated Nov 26, 2013 - 8:16 am

Authorities: Arizona inmate killed cellmate to stay in prison

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Arizona authorities said the killing of a prison inmate resulted from his cellmate's desire to remain in custody, not from a fight as initially believed.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is recommending that prosecutors charge 43-year-old Roberto Venegas-Fernandez with first-degree murder in the Nov. 16 killing of 55-year-old Michael Patrick McNaughton

Both men were prisoners of the U.S. Marshals Service, which has said they were from the San Diego area and housed at a Corrections Corporation of America prison in Florence pending their transfer to the Bureau of Prisons.

Sheriff Paul Babeu said Venegas-Fernandez told investigators that he choked and stomped McNaughton because he liked being in prison and was afraid of being released since he had nowhere to go.

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