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Convicted murderer’s death ruled a suicide

Published October 09. 2019 05:03AM

A man convicted of a 2017 murder in Lehighton hanged himself in his cell, according to authorities.

Yessy Rivera, 32, died Sept. 29 after being found unresponsive in his cell at State Correctional Institute Benner Township, near State College.

Rivera had been serving 20-40 years for the April 2017 murder of Brian Paul Lindner, 44.

Doctors at Mount Nittany Medical Center pronounced Rivera dead about an hour after he was found in his cell.

Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers said that Rivera died of asphyxia due to hanging. He ruled the death a suicide.

State [olice are investigating the death, but had provided no details as of Tuesday.

Rivera was an inmate at SCI Benner Township since June. In January, Carbon County Judge Steven R. Serfass sentenced Rivera to 20-40 years in prison for Lindner’s death.

Rivera admitted to killing Lindner and pleaded guilty to third degree murder. Witnesses said that Rivera cut the man’s throat inside the basement of a home in Lehighton.

SCI Benner Township announced Rivera’s death on Sept. 30. Prison officials did not return a call for comment Tuesday afternoon.

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