Mother of slain Va. inmate claims guard conspiracy

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Associated Press

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 4:02 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The mother of an inmate strangled by another prisoner is suing prison officials and guards, claiming they either helped or failed to prevent his death.

Aaron Cooper was killed on July 28, 2010, when Robert Gleason strangled him through a separate cage on the recreation yard at Red Onion State Prison. Gleason had killed his cellmate in 2009 and vowed to keep killing unless he was sentenced to death. He received that sentence last year.

Kim Strickland claims in a lawsuit filed Friday that Gleason traded favors with prison guards in order to arrange her son's slaying. It accuses prison officials of not doing required searches and of arranging for monitoring stations to be abandoned.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor says the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

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