In Brief

Man charged in beating death of cellmate in South Jersey state prison

By: - March 8, 2023 12:32 pm

An inmate now at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton has been criminally charged in the November beating death of his cellmate at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg. (Photo by Dana DiFilippo | New Jersey Monitor)

A Trenton man behind bars for a 2005 gang slaying has been charged with a new killing after authorities say he beat his cellmate to death in November.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said Wednesday that Bruce Duette, 43, was charged with murder for the Nov. 21 death of Martin Sanchez, 41, at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, where both were incarcerated.

Correctional officers found Sanchez unresponsive in his cell with head trauma, and medical responders declared him dead shortly after, Webb-McRae said.

Duette, who’s now incarcerated at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, has been incarcerated since 2006 and had a release date of 2030 before his latest charges, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Sanchez was due to be released the day after he died. His death came amid an uptick in inmate deaths statewide and nationally.


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Dana DiFilippo
Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.