Inmate hangs himself in SD state prison

CREATED Sep 4, 2014

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Authorities say a South Dakota inmate on death row has died in prison as a result of a suicide.

The South Dakota Department of Corrections says the 44-year-old James McVay was found hanging in his cell overnight Thursday in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

McVay was formally sentenced to death in May for killing a woman as part of what he said was a plot to assassinate President Barack Obama.

McVay earlier pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to murder in the 2011 stabbing of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein. McVay said he killed Schein and stole her car as part of his plan to drive to Washington and kill the president. He was later arrested in Madison, Wisconsin.

Authorities say an autopsy will be conducted.