By Deb Belt
A notorious prisoner who committed a gruesome murder in Maryland was shot to death in an Israeli prison Sunday.
Samuel Sheinbein fled to Israel after murdering and dismembering Alfredo Tello Jr. in Maryland in 1997. He could have faced a life sentence in Maryland, but Israel refused to extradite him back to the United States. He was instead sentenced to 24 years in prison in Israel.
On Sunday, Sheinbein stole a weapon and shot three guards at the Israeli prison he has spent more than a decade of his life in, reports WJZ TV. He then barricaded himself in the prison forcing Israeli special forces to raid the prison and shoot him to death.
Sheinbein was nearing the end of his Israeli prison term and would have been eligible for parole, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said. He said the incident Sunday seems like a suicide rampage just before Sheinbein’s release.
Sheinbein, 33, was a 17-year-old high school student when he and a friend killed Tello. They used a power saw to cut off the victim’s arms and legs and wrapped the torso in trash bags, The Washington Post reports. As police closed in, Sheinbein fled to Israel where he eventually pleaded guilty in Tello’s death.
“Today’s events are a shocking end to one the most brutal cases ever committed in Montgomery County,” said John McCarthy, state’s attorney for Montgomery.
The case created a rift between the U.S. and Israeli governments, as that country’s courts sided with Sheinbein. The case prompted a change in how Israel treats such matters, the Washington Post reported..
It was not immediately clear what Sheinbein’s motives were Sunday or how he managed to get a gun inside the Rimonim Prison in central Israel. Sheinbein isolated himself inside a cell and didn’t take any prisoners. When he began shooting at counterterrorism units, they shot and killed Sheinbein.
Police were called to investigate Tello’s murder on Sept. 19, 1997, according to the Post. Two real estate agents were ready to show a house in Wheaton when they smelled foul odors, entered the garage and “noticed a black plastic bag with what they felt was blood seeping from it onto the garage floor,” a police affidavit said. Inside the bag they found Tello’s charred and dismembered body.
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