Quantcast
Home / News in Brief / Cyanide killer’s sentencing is delayed

Cyanide killer’s sentencing is delayed

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) The sentencing hearing for a man who poisoned his former girlfriend with a cyanide injection was postponed because he was unresponsive and foaming at the mouth when he was wheeled into a Virginia Beach court.

Joseph Merlino III was rocking from side to side in a gurney type of wheel chair on Dec 5, The Virginian-Pilot reported. A jail doctor said Merlino might be suffering from a mental condition caused by stress.

Judge Les Lilley delayed the sentencing until Dec. 10.

A jury convicted Merlino of first-degree murder in June for killing Ellie Tran in 2017. They recommended a life sentence.

Merlino had gone on a hunger strike about two months before his trial began and lost about 40 pounds. The strike ended shortly after the trial did.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.