updated 4/7/2007 5:57:56 AM ET 2007-04-07T09:57:56

A federal prison inmate convicted of killing a cellmate and using his entrails to taunt guards has been spared execution.

A Colorado jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision in favor of execution after three weeks of deliberations. Prosecutors say William Sablan now faces life in prison without parole when he is sentenced later this month.

Sablan was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1999 death of Joey Jesus Estrella. Prosecutors say Sablan and his cousin strangled Estrella and slashed his neck after a night of drinking homemade wine and fighting in the cell they shared.

A videotape shot by prison guards showed Sablan holding up Estrella's internal organs and making obscene gestures. Defense attorneys had argued mental illness left Sablan unable to control his impulses.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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