Philly man ordered to trial in strangulation death of cellmate in western Pa. prison

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WAYNESBURG, Pennsylvania — A Philadelphia man has been ordered to stand trial in the strangulation death of his cellmate in a western Pennsylvania prison earlier this year.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter ( ) reports that homicide charges against 24-year-old Raphael Spearman were sent to Greene County Court after Wednesday's preliminary hearing.

Spearman is charged in the Jan. 10 death of 22-year-old Ronald Yarbough of Cresson in the State Correctional Institution-Greene.

Authorities said prison guards found Yarbough unresponsive in the cell the two shared in the Franklin Township prison. A corrections officer testified that Spearman told him "I choked him out."

Officials said the two had been housed together for a very short time in SCI-Greene's special needs unit, which houses inmates with mental, emotional or physical disabilities.

Information from: Observer-Reporter,

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