Condemned inmate dies in Calif jail awaiting trial

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Updated: 2/12/2014 4:14 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An inmate already sentenced to death for four murders has died while awaiting trial in a fifth slaying.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Wednesday that 73-year-old Wilbur Lee Jennings died Tuesday of natural causes while being held at the Sacramento County jail.

He was awaiting trial for the 1981 murder of Debra Chandler.

Jennings was linked by DNA evidence to the 17-year-old Sacramento woman, whose body was found near a water-filled roadside ditch.

The department says investigators nicknamed Jennings the "ditch-bank killer" because his victims were often found in canals or irrigation pipes.

He was sentenced to death by a Fresno County jury in 1986 for the slayings of Linda Johnson, Olga Cannon and Jacqueline Frazier in 1984, and the murder of Karen Robinson in 1983.

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