Inmate gets 25 years to life for strangling suspected child molester

Convict already serving a life sentence gets 25 years to life for killing fellow inmate

A man serving a life sentence for murder and robbery was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life for strangling a person suspected of child molesting to death in a large jail holding cell in 1997, officials said.

Jaime Vidales, 42, pleaded no contest and was immediately sentenced for the death of Miguel Sanchez, who had been jailed on sexual assault charges, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The pair had been housed together in July 1997 with dozens of other inmates in a large holding cell at the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles.

Vidales was awaiting trial on murder and robbery charges when authorities said he beat and strangled Sanchez.

Prosecutors said another inmate helped Vidales attack Sanchez, but he was subsequently killed in a Los Angeles County jail.

A sheriff's deputy found Sanchez lying on a bunk bed in a dorm room occupied by inmates.

Investigators had suspected that inmate "trusties" -- who are given special duties or privileges by prison officials for good behavior -- were given secret information related to Sanchez's arrest that prompted the deadly July 11, 1997, attack.

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