Mount Olive inmate sentenced to life for killing cellmate

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019 4:30 p.m. UPDATE:  A two day trial for an inmate at the Mount Olive Correction Complex wrapped up on Wednesday.  John Nicholson was convicted of killing Earl Parsons on April 5, 2017.

During the trial prosecutors proved Nicholson beat Parson to death with the lid from a hard-composite locker box.  The two men shared a cell.  Witnesses said Nicholson also kicked Parsons in the head while he was on the floor. 

Judge Paul Blake sentenced Nicholson to serve life in prison without mercy for the crime of First Degree Murder.  Nicholson was being held for multiple sex offenses against a child.  The life sentence will begin when his sentence for those crimes are served.


ORIGINAL STORY: The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety has released initial details about a fatal fight at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex.  The fight broke out between inmates during the evening hours on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.  Earl Parsons, 30, died of the injuries he received as a result of the altercation.

Parsons was an inmate from Cabell County.  He was convicted in Wayne County for failure to register or providing false information as a sexually violent predator.   He was serving two to 10 years on that charge.  He was also serving one to 15 years for breaking and entering.

Further details on what lead to the fight have not been released.  The West Virginia Division of Corrections is waiting for findings from an internal review and an investigation by the West Virginia State Police.

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