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Convicted murderer beaten to death in state prison, records show

The Clark County coroner’s office said Wednesday that a man who killed his wife nearly 34 years ago was beaten to death in prison.

Mitchell Harris, 69, died Sept. 28 at University Medical Center from blunt force injuries of the head and neck, according to the coroner’s office, which said a fight inside Harris’ cell led to his death.

Court records show that Harris was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1990 after he was found guilty of murder, but it was unclear at which facility he was most recently serving time.

He stabbed his ex-wife, Nancy, with an ice pick in 1989 at the Texaco gas station at Sahara and Eastern avenues, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal archives.

Harris was shot four times at the gas station by off-duty police officer Blaine Haggie, who told reporters at the time that he was on his way to work and that Harris turned the ice pick on him when Haggie demanded that the man stop.

During grand jury proceedings, Haggie said Harris had the eyes “of a crazed animal,” according to Review-Journal archives. Harris was a former Nevada Test Site employee who had beaten his ex-wife before because of money disputes, prosecutors argued.

Deputy District Attorney William Henry said prosecutors would seek the death penalty in the case, but it was unclear why 14 months later Harris was given a life sentence.

The Nevada Department of Corrections never disclosed the killing and could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The death was disclosed in records that the Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained this week from the coroner’s office.

Officials have not said whether anyone has been charged in the killing.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the correctional facility where Harris was beaten to death.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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