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Prisoner Found Dead In His Cell

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File photo of a prison cell.  (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a prison cell. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada prison officials say the man who staged a sniper attack on Interstate 80 more than a decade ago has been found dead in his cell.

The state Department of Corrections said in a statement that 34-year-old Christopher Merritt was found dead Thursday in his cell at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City. An autopsy is scheduled for this week.

Merritt was 20 when he pleaded guilty to six counts of attempted murder in 1999. No one was killed during the shootings on Jan. 4, 1999, but one person was injured and several vehicles were struck by gunfire.

Merritt told police he meant to rob motorists but later told the media that he planned a cross-country killing spree to make a statement about violence.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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