updated 12/27/2005 3:20:45 PM ET 2005-12-27T20:20:45

Self-proclaimed “sausage king” Stuart Alexander died Tuesday at San Quentin Prison while on death row for killing three meat inspectors.

Alexander, 44, was under a suicide watch at the time. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Sgt. Eric Messick said there were no signs of suicide or foul play. An autopsy was planned.

Messick said Alexander’s mental health had deteriorated after he was sentenced to death in February for the 2000 shooting deaths at his factory in San Leandro.

The slayings were captured on the factory’s surveillance videotape, which was shown to the jury at the trial.

Alexander’s lawyers contended that he snapped and killed the inspectors after months of harassment. They argued for a voluntary manslaughter conviction.

He had been cited repeatedly for problems at his factory, with inspectors ordering him to raise the cooking temperature of his meat.

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