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Authorities: Inmate facing trial in wife's murder kills Pima Jail cellmate

An inmate at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex was killed Wednesday morning by his cellmate, authorities said. Branden Roth, 24, was pronounced dead at the jail after being found with "obvious signs of trauma."

King Yates, 23, facing trial for allegedly killing his wife last year, was arrested in the death of his cellmate.

Roth was found with injuries during "welfare checks" by corrections officers, a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

He was given first aid by jail staff and Tucson Fire Department personnel, but was pronounced dead at the scene, Deputy Ryan Inglett said.

Details of Roth's injuries were not provided.

Yates, Roth's cellmate, was arrested by PCSD homicide detectives on first-degree murder charges, Inglett said.

Yates was arrested in the November 20 shooting death of his 24-year-old wife, Cassandra Yates. Just weeks before, he had been arrested on charges of illegally possessing a weapon, but the convicted felon was released pending a Jan. 3 hearing. Yates has a history of domestic violence, including several arrests and a misdemeanor conviction, along with a series of prior drug charges. He violated probation after being convicted on one of those charges, serving a six-month prison term in 2013.

Yates' trial in his wife's death is scheduled to begin June 6.

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Roth was in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to trafficking in stolen property, a class 3 felony, in a case dating to November 2016. He had entered a plea on April 7, and was due back in court June 5.

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