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Convicted rapist found dead in jail

1-26-2010 Maryland:

A man convicted of rape a week ago was found dead Monday in an Anne Arundel County Detention Center shower, and officials said his death was a probable suicide.

William Joseph Trice, 48, was found in the jail shower around 6:15 a.m., said Terry Kokolis, superintendent of the county jails. Asked if Trice had hanged himself, Kokolis said Trice "was found in that position."

Trice was working as a tow truck operator and living in Eagle Bridge, N.Y., in 2008 when a fingerprint and DNA evidence made him a suspect in two newly reopened rape cases stemming from incidents occurring in 1988. At a recent trial - the first of two scheduled - police said that when they told him of the evidence they had collected, he replied, "Oh my God; no way; I'm worse than I thought I was," and also said, "My life is over."

His attorney, Andrew Szekely, said he knew little about his client's death and declined to respond to questions.

Jail employees started CPR and first aid but were "unable to revive him," Kokolis said. Fire department paramedics also could not revive Trice, he said.

Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said police are investigating the death, saying only that "there were no signs of trauma or foul play."

Trice had been held at the county jail since December 2008, Kokolis said, and evaluations showed he was not considered a suicide risk or in need of medication.

Suspected in two "cold" cases, Trice was found guilty Jan. 19 of the August 1988 rape of a woman in her bedroom. The woman's mother was asleep two floors above in their home in a gated community in Annapolis.

DNA evidence from that scene and a December 1988 rape of a woman outside her Arnold home appeared to link both crimes, investigators said.

Investigators said that a fingerprint on a candle in the Annapolis woman's bedroom matched one of Trice's in a national database, leading them to question him in November 2008.

The maximum prison sentence for rape is life. Prosecutors intended to seek a lengthy prison term for the Annapolis rape at the sentencing scheduled for March 8.

A trial on charges in the Arnold attack was scheduled for April. ..Source.. by Andrea F. Siegel

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