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Prison inmate pleads guilty to murdering cellmate

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah State Prison inmate has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in connection with the death of his cellmate.

Timothy P. Maez, 39, entered a guilty plea for the first-degree felony charge Friday in 3rd District Court.

On Aug. 10, a corrections officer saw Maez standing outside his cell with a "significant amount" of blood on him, charges state. Inside the cell, James C. Corbett, 33, who was to be released in less than a month, was unresponsive.

Maez told investigators that he and Corbett began fighting and that he stabbed Corbett with a pen, cut him with a razor and stomped his head on the floor, according to the charges.

The pair was housed in an area for inmates with mental illness.

Maez has a criminal history dating to 1999, with convictions of aggravated kidnapping, retaliation against a board of pardons member and propelling a substance at a correctional officer, according to the Department of Corrections. His most recent prison sentence began in June 2014.

In January 2015, he sent a letter threatening to kill a member of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.

Corbett was convicted of two counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child in 2007 and ordered to serve two consecutive sentences of up to five years in prison.

The aggravated murder plea carries a potential sentence of 25 years to life. Maez is set to be sentenced Aug. 21.